It started with turkey soup: How a New Jersey woman sparked a movement helping others

The coronavirus pandemic has left many in New Jersey wondering what they can do to help others. For one New Jersey woman, it was a pot of turkey soup that sparked a movement to help feed others.

News 12 Staff

Apr 2, 2020, 1:56 AM

Updated 1,481 days ago

Share:

The coronavirus pandemic has left many in New Jersey wondering what they can do to help others. For one New Jersey woman, it was a pot of turkey soup that sparked a movement to help feed others.
Gabriella Sciarappa is a chef who owns Love Empanadas in Long Branch. But like many other restaurateurs, Sciarappa found herself out of work – a casualty to the effort to stop the spread of the virus. So, Sciarappa fell back on what came naturally – cooking.
Sciarappa first made up a pot of turkey soup and began offering it up on a local Facebook group free of charge to anyone who needed a meal. The soup went quickly and she made some more.
Photos: Heroes of the Coronavirus Pandemic
undefined

A lot of people responded to the effort – some looking for a meal, but many others looking to help. One person set up a GoFundMe page for Sciarappa’s efforts with a goal of $200. Two weeks later, Gabbie’s Kitchen Fundraiser has raised more than $700.
“People dropping off bags of flour on my porch just to be a part of it. I have a freezer full of meat that’s been donated. People have donated bags of rice, dried beans, stuff that’s cheap to cook, but goes a long way,” she says.
Sciarappa is now breaking 20 loaves of bread a week for a local food pantry and preparing about three dozen home-cooked meals three times a day for anonymous families that come to pick them up from a table in her front yard. The meals are also delivered by another volunteer.
Photos: Your Experience with the Coronavirus Pandemic
undefined

“I haven’t met a single person. I haven’t come in contact with a single person. The only thing I know is what we’ve spoken about from Facebook,” Sciarappa says.
It is April 1 – rent is due for many people and the economic crunch is likely to worsen for many. Sciarappa says that she will keep cooking.
“It’s the only thing I can do. Like what are we supposed to do? This whole situation shows us how powerless we are when it comes to the world and mother nature…We need to connect and that’s all we have…I have the ability to cook and now I have people that want to help. And that’s all I can do,” Sciarappa says.


More from News 12