It was an especially busy night for the Carol Starr MESH cafe. We had 24 guests and 4 takeaways. Chef Jennifer Moses prepared a delicious meal of baked flounder with creamy broccoli sauce, macaroni and cheese, and salad. This was supplemented with chickpea spinach stew and okra with potatoes, repurposed from Shabbat. Sixteen of our guests had seconds. The meal was served and cleaned up by MESH teens Shayna, Josephine, Talia, Siona, Jonah, and Amalia, plus MESH professionals Adrienne and Joe.
While we were serving dinner, the Purim spiel players were rehearsing in the next room for tonight’s performance. Our guests got a kick out of seeing extremely cute little ones running around wearing funny costumes and singing. We had a bit more drama at the end of the evening when one of our guests announced that he couldn’t get up, and needed medical care. 911 was called and an ambulance arrived shortly thereafter. EMS thought that the guest would be okay, but out of an abundance of caution, took him to the hospital. Shomrei security officer Darren was particularly helpful in dealing with the situation. The captain was so busy with all of this that he forgot to take the obligatory photo.
The Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei (Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless) is a cooperative effort between the MESH organization and local synagogues and churches. Volunteers at each institution cook and serve hearty, nutritious meals for the hungry. Shomrei’s turn is on Tuesday nights. A good meal, and perhaps as important, social interaction and companionship offer respite to those who need it. Please help fulfill this crucial mitzvah by volunteering.
To sign up to help, go to shomrei.org/mesh.