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Not Your Average Soup Kitchen: Reciprocity Foundation Offers Vegetarian Meals And Inspiration For Homeless Youth For Thanksgiving
By: PR Newswire
Nov. 8, 2012 02:54 PM
NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the harvest with our family and friends but also to remember those who are hungry. This year, the Reciprocity Foundation, a NYC-based nonprofit, is doing more than doling out food on Thanksgiving. The Reciprocity Foundation offers the largest vegetarian meal program in the country and a weekly Thanksgiving gathering for homeless youth from across America.
Co-founder Adam Bucko says, "Our students lost more than housing when they were forced to flee their family homes. They lost a chance to eat meals with caring adults, to ask questions, to explore ideas, and to be part of a healthy community. We offer more than food in a brown bag—we try to satiate the deeper needs that accompany homelessness."
At the brightly colored youth center operated by the Reciprocity Foundation, homeless youth are shown TED talks, practice yoga and meditation, and interact with guest speakers who are creative, business and nonprofit leaders from New York City. The "Food for Thought" program offered during the Thanksgiving season inspire homeless youth to set career and educational goals.
Co-founder Taz Tagore says, "Typically, homeless youth are completely isolated from thought leaders in America. But at Reciprocity, we feed their bodies and their minds. We know they are 'Starved for Inspiration' and so we offer them inspiration to become leaders themselves."
The meals also include a gratitude ritual—taking the time to give thanks for any gifts—large or small—the students have received in the preceding week. It may be a simple thank you for having a cot in a shelter—or a more profound feeling of gratitude for having the ability to flee a dangerous or abusive situation at home.
The Reciprocity Foundations' meal program is the first and largest vegetarian food program for the homeless in America. The Reciprocity Foundation is also the recipient of countless awards for its unique and innovative programming for homeless youth and has been featured on America's Next Top Model, ABC News, CBS News, Reuters and in publications such as the New York Times.
The "Food for Thought" Thanksgiving meals will be served daily for two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and then twice-weekly afterwards.
The Reciprocity Foundation's graduates become superstars in America. Isis King was featured on Tyra Banks' show, America's Next Top Model as the first transgender contestant (www.cwtv.com.) Reciprocity grad Lyssette Horne was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 by Advocate magazine (www.advocate.com). Last year, 79% of Reciprocity participants secured (or sustained) employment via the Reciprocity Foundation and 76% of homeless High School students at Reciprocity applied to College as a result of their programs.
ABOUT US: Reciprocity Foundation (www.reciprocityfoundation.org) is contemplative 501c3 nonprofit organization co-founded by Adam Bucko and Taz Tagore in 2005. Since it's inception, the Reciprocity Foundation has helped nearly a thousand homeless youth become successful entrepreneurs, community leaders, educators and media activists.
SOURCE Reciprocity Foundation
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