Crab Cake Row: St John’s Lutheran Church of Essex welcomes you to Friends For Supper to feed the community

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The beautiful crew from the St John’s Lutheran Church of Essex welcome you to Friends For Supper to feed the community and ways to volunteer and contribute to a neighborhood feast for those less fortunate.


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Nestor J. Aparicio, Whitney, Karen, John, Christine

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:02

Welcome back. We are wn S T A and 5070, Towson Baltimore. We’re at Costas in the sign above me says so I’m surrounded by lots of folks. These folks brought the most amount of people. I’m not sure if they had crabs or not but like I was doing the show and we were enlisted tender moment with exacting for cancer people. And I heard like the most beautiful sound you can hear in Dundalk. The cracking of a crab mallet on a crab and I’m like, What’s going on here? It’s like 11 in the morning, but we’re into the afternoon we’re gonna be here all afternoon till five o’clock. We’re live. I don’t know why I decided to go live. It has been it’s probably the worst in me but sort of the me the best of me as well. We’ll be live tomorrow. I cost or excuse me a Coke was on Wednesday. Thursday. It’s a fair Friday. We’re going to be Pappas all day long. nine till five. Please bring his canned goods bring his dry goods. Lots of folks really taken like today’s been this unbelievable. We have a chuck the folks up here say that’s a lot of food over there. And Steve Trevino came with $2,000 worth of food in his trunk, and he’s driving it over to the food bank. He came up and surprised me. So cash is accepted. I got five bucks yesterday. So you know what happens? Bring some canned goods for 40 folks and become a buy to take this here locally. I have local folks here from the St. John’s pantry that are going to talk about where this food goes. And the things that happen here in Dundalk. They’re all nervous. I’m not I’ve tried to tell them not to be nervous. I was hoping all the microphones work and Mike fours and I’m gonna go left to right here and you have I don’t know, like 20 people here. Somebody wrote to me, John, I think you wrote to me say, Can I bring people to eat lunch? And I’m like, that’s the whole idea here. John loskis. Here, Whitney loskis His daughter. She’s here she said she would have dressed better, although I think you’d look really nice. And Karen Levant is this year as well. How roller might say hello, same time. Yes. All right. Thanks for my son for plugging in Mike for I appreciate that. I sat here and talked about a lot of different stories and where food goes and food insecurity. Just as a short note, I think I’ve been inspired in a lot of ways by my father who stood in soup lines for food. 1929 never voted for Republican after Herbert Hoover again. My dad worked at the Pointe 19 for 28 years. I’m from Dundalk. And my dad would always say to me, Hey, you got $1 in your pocket, put something in your belly, rub my belly, put something in your belly puts food in your belly. He pointed me because he started when he was a kid. And I never really thought about that. I’m 55 and I haven’t spent, you know, a day without food mom never gone to bed hungry. Thank thank God, right great parents. But I did this thing for years at the Super Bowl. And this is called a cup of Super Bowl. And I want the 27 Super Bowl. So I’m very fortunate individual, right. The first Super Bowl ever went to there was an event called Taste of the NFL. And it’s a big ticket item more than I could afford. It’s certainly 30 years ago. But they brought chefs from all over the NFL before we were in the league. This is before the Ravens existed. I went out to Arizona, and it was a hunger event. It’s called Taste of the NFL. And it was the biggest party of the NFL. You know, for years and years. It was the Miss America was their football players, all of that. And I got trapped in Indianapolis 2011. They threw the party in the food bank. And no one would come pick you up in Indianapolis. I mean, it was at the food bank on the edge of town. I mean, it was like in the Joppa town outside of the city, kind of an like we couldn’t get back and I was traveling the food bank and I looked around the food bank and it’s all the food and all this stuff. And I guess all of this comes to me to have folks like you come by and tell me where this food goes and what you’re doing. The Maryland Food Bank sent you and recommended you as approved. So food here goes to people like you, John, you are the official spokesperson for the beginning and Okere. And when you’re gonna get into here, I want you to tell me a little bit about what you do.


John  03:44

Well, I support my daughter and her portion of the program. We have two portions at St. John’s we have friends for supper, which is run by Karen, where she provides a meal of once a month for anybody who walks in the door that’s needy, and Whitney has taken over our food ministry at our church all I’m doing is supporting those two in this program. He’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:09

not gonna take any credit which

Whitney  04:11

I know he’s not gonna take the credit which is really a shame. The reason I got into this is because he pulled me in 30 Some years ago, and even 30

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:21


You’re doing alright. card again.

Whitney  04:25

Yeah, my parents. I grew up at St. John’s and they were always taking care of holiday food outreach, trying to deliver baskets to community members in need. Usually we get those names actually from school guidance counselors back in the day. Now there are different roles within the school who are really great at letting us know what families are in need. But it’s always been about trying to make sure that there aren’t any hungry children. For us. That’s really kind of, I think what motivates my family. I went to school with a kid who I watched eat banana peels dipped in mustard one day I came home and asked my mom why. And she said, because he’s hungry. And then I just haven’t been able to let go of that. And that was early on. And

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:08

I have never had that image in my life. And I may or may not want to forget it. Yeah,

Whitney  05:12

I watched a kiddie banana peels dipped in mustard because he was so hungry that he just needed something.


Nestor J. Aparicio  05:19

To make ketchup a condiment that or vegetable, I’m sorry, a bit of vegetable.

Whitney  05:25

But I just felt so my heart went out to that kid and my heart still goes out to that kid.

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:30

Karen, how do you how did you get here? Well, he told me you’re in charge connoisseur today. Yeah. All right. Yeah.

Karen  05:37


Back in 2020 2012. I was with my sisters. And we were inspired through our mother and I’m a lifer. At St. John’s, my sister DS a life like for St. John’s. It’s on Franklin Avenue in Essex to one two to one

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:58

seeing this as you get you’re gonna get in a fight right away. I’m Dundalk

Karen  06:03

should be addressed that poor plant.

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:06

Whose is it? The city’s and


Karen  06:10

there you go. It’s a truth. But anyways, so our mother took us to Sunday school and church every Sunday. And so she inspired us to want to give back and to be part of something bigger than ourselves. And friends for supper came about from 2012 and still rocking and rolling. Today we’re getting more and more volunteers through our church and community. I have friends in my neighborhood. And then even some of the friends for supper folks that come in, they want to help and

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:43

friends for supper. Tell me about that. You said that a couple times want to learn what that is? All right?

Karen  06:48

Well, it is a meal that we cook from scratch, from soup to nuts, and we reach out to the community through a column or process and they get individual phone calls to come to France for supper that evening from four to 6pm. And we they sit at the table and help themselves to a drink and an appetizer. And then we call their table up and they go through the line and receive Well, let’s see, we had Saulsbury steak, homemade mashed potatoes, and green beans or roll a delicious dessert. And we had a salad for an appetizer, Sir, there’s always those components to this awesome marble

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:36


going to this table food over here. And I’m seeing cans of corn and this and that. And it’s like a chopped episode for me. I’m thinking like, what would I what could I make to be creative with, you know, with the food that comes in, but I think for any of us to eat every day. And obviously your story’s just sad. But we take it for granted. Right? I think everybody in the audience that, like me has had abundance, right? Like, I’ve never gone to bed hungry. My son’s never gone to bed. Right? But it happens it happens down the street from us. And maybe we don’t realize it or know it. And to your point. There’s a shame part of it. There’s not knowing who to ask for. I went to Colgate and with the Halliburton one, that Dundalk I don’t remember a food pantry. You know, I remember hungry kids, I remember free lunches and the stigma that get a free lunch parents. You know, like all that went on. Parents will have it. This is 3035 40 years ago. But I think we take it for granted. And I think when folks serve it and cook it, it’s nothing you ever take for granted. John, you’ve been at this a long time right now

John  08:36

now. And one of the biggest things when they gave us like a list of maybe questions that you might be asking or whatever, one of the things that I was thinking about was my biggest thing for helping out with the food giving out we have like what we call marketplace at the same time to friends for supper is going on. And people can come through the line and just grab a eggs, milk, ground beef, whatever they want. But we do it in a way that does not disrespect them. And that’s the biggest thing, they have to feel welcome to come there and get the food that we’re providing. Because if we have the food and somebody has made fun of their status or situation, they’re not going to come back and we want them to come back every month, and maybe help them even more each time that they come back. And the biggest thing for me is helping the little ones, giving them that little grocery bag so that they can go and pick out what they like to eat, that their parents might do. They will go down the line and grab. I’ll say a bag of rice or whatever because they know their mom makes a real good rice dish or whatever. And there’ll be smiling the whole way down because they’re getting food for their home table. They

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:53

go shopping. Yep. So beautiful thing. So how long have you been doing this? Give me the background of when this began and how it began. It’s all about my dad. My dad’s roots were in Essex. My parents were married at Mount Carmel. Taylor Avenue. You know, when my parents were Essex people market

John  10:09

place has started in the last say five years. Okay. Baskets from food from St. John’s has been there. Probably since the 60s, wow, my wife and I took over in, I’ll say 8586, only 40


Nestor J. Aparicio  10:27

years statement, such as 40 years. From that,

John  10:31

that’s where Whitney got her emphasis to go further. So we kind of retired out of it. Our pastor took over for a couple years. And then the pastor kind of tapped her on the shoulder and said, Whitney, I got a job for you.

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:46

And she couldn’t refuse. How long ago was this? I

Whitney  10:49


in 2018, I moved back to Baltimore and was excited to be able to jump back in. But it was an interesting time

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:56

for the Orioles to be new and improved. Oh, I

Whitney  10:58

thought. Yeah. That is, that’s yeah, I came home and was welcomed back. Yes. But I think that we didn’t start doing the marketplace, which I think is really what’s been so impactful. lately. What is the marketplace, that’s the shopping part for the kids? Well, it’s for anybody who comes. So it’s always the last Tuesday of the month from four to 6pm is when Miss Karen serves the meal with her team of of so many people. But we also set up essentially like a little grocery store, whatever we can get in bulk from the food bank. That month, we’ll set it up so that people can shop through and take what they need, not what we think that they need, not what we say they should eat, but what they’re actually going to use and what would benefit them the most. So I don’t know some months, we’re really blessed. And this past month, we had ground beef and chicken and then milk and eggs and bread and fish and lots of ground pork, lots of fresh vegetables. Not as many canned vegetables this time around. But it’s a little different every month, it really depends on what how the food bank can help us out in that that way that we have enough for everyone, I think this month. I think Dee did the numbers. And there were 79 people who came through to shop on the last Tuesday of

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:14

them and they take food home. Yeah, correct. That’s a beautiful thing. All right, that’s once a month.


Karen  12:19

And there’s bread. We have someone here with us Robin Hood and her team. They go to H Ness bakery where they’ve donated like badgered stacks of bread. So they’re able to take the bread. And then we have we have a friend that’s a farmer. So Danny is our farmer friend, friend and I go pick up fresh produce. So it really is like, you know, shopping at the grocery store, and they had fresh vegetables that they can take home. So it’s um, it’s a win win for everyone and a humbling experience for all of us. And we just want to keep going at it and bring more volunteers in.

John  12:59

And out in front of our school building is a box that has been made to house groceries for the emergency type situation to where if someone’s just walking by need something they can reach in that box and grab a can of spaghetti sauce, and a package of noodles or a box of cereal or milk, or bread out of that box of canned vegetables and everything else. And

Whitney  13:24

we’re quite close to the element to six elementary and we often see kids stopping on their way in to grab a snack or something for breakfast. So it’s nice to be able to help the community around that on

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:34


the web. Give me Give me tell me how to find you. The best way to find you guys, because I didn’t have a lot of information on you. The Maryland Food Bank said St. John’s folks are coming. We give to them this foods go into them. So I want to be able to find you and everybody out.

John  13:48

We’re at 518 Franklin, but I don’t know in the heart of Essex. Facebook is

Whitney  13:54

probably the best way to find out about what’s going on.

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:57

And I would put St John’s go ahead know what to put in St


Whitney  14:00

John’s assets I think is what it’s under. Yeah. All

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:04

right, St. John’s so you’re a Lutheran. Okay, I did not know that all right. Um, I won’t I want to find you and so I can share. I got it right here. Alright, I’m going to share it out when I share a piece thank you and at least I can find you guys Am I missing anything? Is there any other element I gotta get in here how people can help you out literally bringing food here before five o’clock today? Yeah,

Whitney  14:24

thank you so much because this is one of those days where our pantry is looking a little bit dry this past week or two and we got this call that we could be featured here and it was just such a blessing it’s that’s the miracle of this is that every time we need something it’s just a

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:40


gift to you Mike here Christine de could truck CO is that correct? Choco choco de you’re not on the camera but because you need to change seats with John how are you?

Christine  14:49

I’m fine.

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:50

Thank you. D Introduce yourself. Can you tell me about this contingent of people you brought your leg because I I want to I want to put the camera on YouTube. Go ahead. Oh well. huge gathering of people, you brought the Dundalk your leg. Well, these are

Christine  15:03

the wonderful people of St. John’s Lutheran Church of Essex, that support our ministries. And we are a great group of people, I think that really do focus on doing Christ’s work through giving to the community with a smile on our face and in our hearts. And it’s genuine and like everyone has said, Here, our mission is to really support people give them food, and just make you know, we all feel happy what we’re doing. And I think it shows and people like to be come back. And that’s in part why we call it friends for supper, because we really do think of them as friends. And Karen said, think of a funny story to tell or something. And it was hard to think of any funny funny stuff. But I remember when we first started, I wanted to make all this homemade food because the whole emphasis was homemade. So I made these bread bowls. So we could put like a stew in it would


Nestor J. Aparicio  16:07

shout or bowl here. They do clam chowder. And, and

Christine  16:10

I thought it was it was this great undertaking. Then I said, Oh, this will be great. And I even put like fresh thyme in the dough. And so I had, I really was trying to be fancy. So I put the fresh thyme and the dough and then, you know, we served it up. And this one lady said to me later, she said, Oh, I just I felt really bad for you guys. Your flower must have been really old. You had bugs in

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:41

there were ants. And it was time.

Christine  16:45


I thought that was so funny. But I didn’t tell anybody. But anyway, that was a cute little.

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:50

Johnny, thank you very much. D is here. Thank you, John. Thank you Whitney. Thank you. Oh, my camera up here because we’re having a good time. All these people here wave hello to have everybody from the church, everybody here. I do. I told my son if he came today because he wanted to produce more of the shows today. I told him I said you’re gonna meet nice people if you come out here today because everybody’s doing nice thing. John, I appreciate you Whitney. Thanks for great story. Thanks for the time. We’re running out of time. You can find them out of St. John’s of Essex and Franklin Avenue Correct. You got to where exactly is

John  17:26

the corner of Franklin and George one block two blocks off of Eastern Avenue and

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:31

make near near mace. All right, why don’t mace Avenue is fine that’s my first doctor was corner mace Connelly’s funeral home down there I got you all right. Like I’m from Dundalk when I know Essex I mean I skated


Karen  17:45

you need to Yes, it’s really sester

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:51

Chesapeake email Carmel to I am. I’m not the nominee. I will go to Essex.

Karen  17:57

County, VT and

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:58


Chesapeake. Well that’s more Middle River. They don’t claim them. No.

Karen  18:01

EBT is restaurant SS. Yes. Dennis

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:06

closers is a very very proud EBT graduate who played football there. I don’t I don’t mess with the monster. Hey, that’s right. All right. There you go. So I’m nondenominational here. We can all agree to let the tabs go, right? No, I’m just kidding. All right. I am Nestor. We are wn St. I’m going to have one of my favorite guests of the day here. We were in a play together in 1982. With Colgate Elementary, I haven’t seen her in 44 years. She reached to me she’s doing good work here. We’re gonna step back take a break back for more right after this. Thank you

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