History of the Mission
Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel... (Jeremiah 31:1 ESV)
In 1895, a Jewish immigrant began what is now one of the oldest continuously-active gospel missions in New York City. This mission sought to meet the physical, spiritual, and social needs of untold thousands of poor Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Though now located in a different part of Manhattan with a broader reach to people of multiple nations who visit from different parts of the city, Covenant Mercy Mission continues to minister God’s love and Word to the poor and needy of New York City.
New York is the largest city in America and one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. Recent studies have revealed that nearly 20% of New Yorkers are living at poverty levels and struggling to make ends meet because of low wages and the rising cost of housing and goods. These issues especially affect the elderly, disabled, and widows in our city. Many individuals have to make difficult decisions between paying rent and utilities or purchasing sufficient food for their families. A large percentage of our senior population are struggling to live on fixed incomes. The need is great in the city. 13% of New York residents are Asian, and 23% of their population live at the poverty level. 29% are Hispanic, and a quarter of their population are at the poverty level. 30% of single head-of-household homes are at the poverty level. According to the NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College, “One in five children and one in ten seniors(over the age of 60) [in NYC], live in households that lack sufficient food.”
Benefit for Our Community
We partner with several Trader Joe’s supermarkets in Manhattan to provide a food pantry for individuals and families suffering from hunger. Thanks to the generosity of our donating partners, very few of the people we serve weekly seem to continue to struggle with hunger. Trader Joe's donates fruits, vegetables, dairy, bread, and meats. They are to be commended for their service to the community. Their management and staff are the most professional and finest of people.
We pickup from the stores multiple times a day, seven days a week. Our mission sub-donates to eight additional not-for-profit organizations who operate food pantries in other parts of the city. It is truly a wonderful operation!
At our location alone we distribute a pantry five times a week. Individuals are registered and can come weekly to one of those five distributions. In addition to having new clients every week, we see hundreds of families who are coming on a regular basis. Their participation has made a tremendous difference not only for themselves but also for other needly families with whom they share their pantry. Nearly 80% of those who benefit have indicated to us that they are sharing with others in need.
Last year at our Manhattan location we served over 2000 different families. Over 400 of those families are coming weekly to receive help.
We need a 6000.00 a month budget. With these funds we will be able to manage the collection and distribution of over 3 million dollars worth of food donations every year. A third of our budget will be used to pay staff salaries; another third will go to vehicle and operational expenses, and the final third will go toward our use of space in the historic Manor Community Church building. These operational costs are very reasonable for such a large-scale, non-government subsidized operation in Manhattan.
We are seeking 300 ministry partners who will donate 20.00 a month to meet our budget. Will you sponsor one family with a 20.00 a month donation? That donation will be leveraged to provide a weekly pantry to a needy family that is worth several hundred dollars a month.
Occasionally we are also in need of volunteers who are able to do the physical work that is needed in this operation.
Pray for us. We are very thankful to all our donors and to those who pray for us.
We are a Christian-based mission seeking to do good in Jesus’ name, just as He did good to those around Him two millennia ago for the glory of God.
READ ABOUT THE PANTRY
Dr. William Jones, Sr. and his family moved to NYC shortly after the terror attacks of September 11th. Prior to coming to the city he ministered in both Wisconsin and North Carolina.
He believes that the greatest command of God is to love God with all of your heart, and the second greatest command is to love your neighbor.
His passion is to preach the gospel of God and to help meet the pressing needs of others.