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A Day in the Life of Masbia

Rochel Burstyn

What is Masbia? Masbia is made up for four soup kitchens, the central one on Coney Island Ave, one in Boro Park, and two Henry and Susie Orenstein sites in Queens and Williamsburg. These provide delicious, nutritious meals for the poor, every single day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

masbia8:30 a.m.
The lights flick on. Here comes Chef Moishe Brisk. He turns on the ovens and heads
to the fridge. He takes out tray after tray of chickens, which have defrosted
overnight. When he’s done, the counters are covered with 25 trays of 20
chickens on the counters! Then he takes two huge 160-quart pots and fills them
with water for the soup. Then he starts preparing two side dishes; one is
usually rice, pasta, or potatoes, the other is a vegetable.


9:30 a.m.

The door swings open and volunteers start pouring in. The chef starts to delegate
tasks. Soon the sound of peeling and chopping vegetables can be heard. Some
volunteers are cleaning and some are stuffing envelopes. There is always a lot
to do at Masbia!


10 a.m.

Beep beep! Here comes the Masbia delivery van! It’s already made its first stop at
Strauss Bakery and picked up its daily donation of 20 loaves of bread. Now it’s
time to unload the previous day’s transporting containers and make room for
today’s fresh delivery!


11 a.m.

Things are really heating up! The chicken is taken out of
the oven, the gravy is drained, and the chicken is seasoned again before being
returned to the oven to get yummy and crisp. Tray one has been done — don’t
forget the next 24 trays! The vegetables are in the huge pots and the soup is
simmering, but it needs to be stirred carefully so it doesn’t boil over the
enormous fires. When the timer dings, the trays of chicken are whisked out of
the oven and placed in transport containers. These containers will keep the
chicken hot during their journey to the different soup kitchens. The side
dishes are also placed in trays and put in a transport container. Even the soup
has a special five-gallon insulated transport container.


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