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Tamam Tracy Moncur - Sat Jun 15, 2019 @ 12:41PM
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The years have flown by O’ so quickly passing into the abyss of memory…gone…vanishing in time as the melody of the senior’s song plays on in my mind counting the days, the months, the years that Thou O’ Lord has kept me.

The sun relentlessly rises and sets on those in need, the hungry. It’s another community dinner day (soup kitchen). The House of Love Soup Kitchen has been in operation since 2008. We’re all eleven years older. Those of us who have been here consistently are now seniors praying our strength in the Lord. We pray that God will continue to give us the might to fight against injustice and enable us to endure so that we can be of service to the community that we serve.

It’s a warm day in May. Our soup kitchen is part of what is called The College Recovery Program, a network of colleges from across the country where the students gather food from their cafeterias. Ordinarily all food not eaten by the students is thrown away and this is delicious, nutritious food would be going to waste. Instead the students that are a part of this initiative recover the food and disperse it among different community groups that are servicing hungry people. According to the USDA Office of the Chief Economist food waste in the United States ranges from 40-50% of our food supply equating to around 160 billion dollars annually.. Our benefactor college in this fight against waste is Seton Hall in South Orange, NJ. When school is out though, we must fend once again for ourselves which we will be doing from now until mid-September.

Today is one of those days. We know how to cook, and with what resources we have we manage. Some of us are not well but we push ourselves. I know that part of my drive has to do with the fact that my son, who is now deceased, co-founded the House of Love Soup Kitchen along with another minister. Part of my drive is directly related to keeping my son’s legacy alive.

Sustainability in you O’ God has enabled me to maintain my sanity through triumphs, through storms, through sickness, through health, through financial instability, through insecurity, through the joy of giving birth, through death, and through the overwhelming sadness at the loss of loved ones.

We are a faith-based organization and we come Tuesday after Tuesday because we are trying to do God’s will: St. Matthew 25:33-36:

33) And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 

35) for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36) Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

In the course of our discussions during Bible study we often wonder if we are serving the same Jesus that those currently in control of this government say that they worship. Are we serving the same Jesus that the racists and misogynists say that they serve? Are we serving the same Jesus that the Xenophobic and the intolerant serve? Are we serving the same Jesus that the haters serve?

First, our Jesus would change hearts and minds to love instead of hate. Our Jesus is multi-cultural. Our Jesus through people would feed the multitudes and eradicate the amount of food wasted in this country. Our Jesus through people would heal the sick making sure that all have adequate wellness and health care. Our Jesus through people would eliminate the homeless problem by seeing that there was suitable housing for all. Our Jesus through people would see to it that those incarcerated and those re-entering society would have the skill set necessary to survive in this world. Our Jesus cares and wants to share our burdens. He loves us. Do we really serve the same Jesus as the haters?

The tables have been wiped down. The food is ready, and the salad is made. Dinner is about to be served. The people gather together and join hands. The community leader of the Bible Study leads us in prayer. Hope is infused into the atmosphere. Despite the dire circumstances of many the phrase “God is good all the time” jumps from breast to breast. Joy will come in the morning.

The magnificence of the sunset colors the sky as the sun descends each day in its majestic beauty proclaiming hope…hope in which tranquility trumps hostility forging a path of empathy, love, and peace into the hearts of man.

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Tamam Tracy Moncur - Sun Dec 16, 2018 @ 06:05AM
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Tamam Tracy Moncur - Wed Sep 05, 2018 @ 09:46AM
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Troublesome, turbulent, tumultuous times permeate the core of existence…hearts heavy with sorrows stretching into tomorrow…embrace the twinkling messages of hope in the night sky stretched across the horizon always in search of God’s peace.

It’s the last Tuesday in August…August 28th to be exact. The temperature quickly rises to 95 degrees. The air is heavy with moisture. It’s our mini-pantry day. This is when the Hillside Foodbank delivers four pallets of goods to us. We hold the mini-pantry in the church yard at the side. We know some of the pallets will be produce but we never know what the others will be. We’ve gotten meat, beverages, ice cream, and much more on some occasions. This time we mainly get produce and water. Cucumbers and celery galore, along with sweet potatoes, bags of salad and many cases of cold water. What a blessing! Sweat pours down the faces of volunteers as goods are organized and given out. Many people don’t realize the intensity of the work that goes into doing a pantry. Not only do the boxes have to be unpacked and goods given out the work area must be cleaned up. Boxes must be broken down and bagged up for garbage day, tables and chairs taken back inside, and the yard swept up. While we’re giving out the rest of the products the cleanup process begins.

On mini-pantry day we also do the Community Dinner. Today we’re giving out bookbags at the community dinner. Parents are reminded to bring their children. Many of us are seniors yet God continually gives us the strength to push ourselves in this intense heat. “He giveth power to the faint and to those that have no might He increaseth strength.” We at the House of Love Soup Kitchen stand on the promises of God. We are a faith-based organization.

School is getting ready to start and it is imperative that the students start the year right with supplies they need for school. Not only Newark but community groups and churches in the townships around us having been giving out bookbags. Today is our turn. Because of the generosity of the aide to our West Ward Councilman here in Newark and the AT&T pioneers we have 72 bookbags plus supplies to give out this evening.

Newark is ecstatic about being in control of its school system once again. The state of New Jersey has been in control for 22 years and in all honesty have not done much better than the Board of Education of yesteryears. How do I know? I retired from the Newark Public School System in 2010. A big to do was made about the money given to Newark by the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. The bulk of the money went to administrative costs and charter schools and not to the public schools. There are about 26 charter schools in Newark now. Out of the 26 schools four are above average, 2 are average, and the rest below average or not rated. This includes both the high school and elementary level. They are just like the public schools…some are outstanding, some are good, and the others are obliged to look at innovative new ways to reach the students.

Our “Celebration of Education” was a wonderful event. All the bookbags were given out. Two of our deacon volunteers prayed with small groups of children and their parents for a successful and safe new school year. One of our teachers talked to parents about their responsibility to their children and to the schools they would be attending. In addition to bookbags and supplies children received coloring books some in Spanish and some in English. A delicious spaghetti meal, salad, with garlic bread was served along with cake, cookies and ice-cold beverages. What a glorious affair!

God’s people rich in faith and expectation blessed with God’s favor sing and shout in the revelation of new beginnings.

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Tamam Tracy Moncur - Wed Aug 22, 2018 @ 05:39PM
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“Love thy neighbor as thyself” a command of wealth for the health of our souls.

Are we starting the day with a good morning to loved ones and to other people we meet on the way to our daily tasks? Do our hearts shine with God’s love in a world filled with misery vowing to make a positive difference whether big or small in our communities? Do we listen with empathy to stories of heartache and pain from those whose lives are drowning in a deluge of rain from the storms of life? Do we use soft words to confront strife...to diffuse situations always pushing toward the restoration of peace and harmony? Have the hungry been fed? Is there shelter for the homeless? Do the sick have affordable health care? Are the incarcerated being educated to succeed in the world beyond the cement walls? Will the Statue of Liberty be allowed to continue to welcome immigrants with open arms to our country?

How long O’ Lord will mindless selfishness be the rule of our land? How long O’ Lord will the money god reign inflicting pain and oppression? How long O’ Lord will phony politicians and evangelical Christians wreak havoc destroying programs of promise?

1 out of 6 Americans face hunger

49 million Americans struggle to put food on the table

1 out of 5 children are hungry

1 out 3 African American and Latino children suffer from food scarcity

40 % of the food in America is thrown out every year…$165 billion dollars’ worth. All this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans.

St. Matthew 25:34-36 (this scripture is the parable that separates of the sheep (true believers) from the goats (hypocrites.)

34) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand. Come ye blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

35) For I was a hungered and ye gave me meat. I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink, I was a stranger and ye took me in

36) Naked and ye clothed me; I was sick and ye visited me:I was in prison and ye came unto me.

Yesterday was pantry day. People from the community gathered early in the morning in great expectation and anticipation of food boxes to quell hunger pangs and the shame associated with food scarcity in one of the richest countries in the world. Friendly camaraderie floated in and out of easy conversation as the clients lined up to get numbers and check in with Oasis the latest technology in keeping track of the hungry. It’s summer time and somewhat muggy. Those who have registered camp out in the shade waiting patiently for the arrival of the truck which will come bearing gifts of meat, beverages, produce, dairy products, canned goods, rice, bread and so much more. Over eighty people go home with enough food to tide them over for the next few days.

How long O’ Lord before we learn to “Love thy neighbor as thyself”?

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Tamam Tracy Moncur - Mon May 21, 2018 @ 10:23PM
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Hope springs eternal in my soul for I know that God is with me. He blesses, He protects, He directs my path and leads me in what is my destiny.

Pantry day is here once again attempting to address the needs of families and people in the community suffering from food scarcity. It’s unbelievable that the budget adopted by the current administration proposes to cut eligibility for food stamps for at least 4 million people and reduce benefits for many others.

Have you ever received food stamps? Have you ever been hungry? Have you ever been in a position where the cupboards were bare, there was no food in the refrigerator, and you had children to feed? Well the writer of this blog has…I can answer yes to all the above questions. I know for a fact that food stamps do not stretch over the 30-31 days that they are supposed to last. If it had not been for the Lord being on our side...yes...working through the pantries and the government feeding programs to help supplement the stamps we received, my family and I would have had some very lean days...days where there was no food....endless days of hunger.

One of my sons, who is now deceased, co-founded the House of Love Soup Kitchen/Pantry for that very reason. He remembered how as a child what it was like having to live off food stamps. He remembered the pantries where we had to stand in line for hours to receive boxes of food. He remembered the government feeding programs, the 10-pound blocks of cheese we would get along with other food staples. He remembered the summer breakfast and lunch programs that warded off starvation in the richest nation of the world...starvation always looming just beyond the horizon. He wanted to make a difference in the community by having a place, a sanctuary where a person could come and momentarily forget the everyday struggles of life, eat a good wholesome meal, and enjoy the camaraderie of shared experiences.

Hands join together to thank the Creator for His favor, and His Power, and His strength which lifts our spirits above the uncertainty of an economy governed by the wealthy, and for the wealthy only. God embraces us with His Love enabling us to rise above circumstance, and to continue to live in His glory and His hope always rejoicing in Him.

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Tamam Tracy Moncur - Thu Nov 23, 2017 @ 06:41AM
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Tuesday was pre-Thanksgiving pantry day. Millions of  people will be seeking a miracle…just to have enough food to cook to feed the family. Government subsidies to the food-bank are being cut back…asking God to make a way that will enable us to help the community in these most difficult of times. Trips to the food-bank resource agency…filling out shopping lists never knowing what you will or won’t get. Produce, beverages, snacks, and some meat are the blessing for the effort.

Letters of solicitation to private foundations for turkeys…hear our cry O’ Lord! Prayer and preparation…more prayer and preparation. Promise of turkeys given…promise jeopardized. Despair…doesn’t anybody care? Men, women children…people are hungry in this country year around...God is in the midst working…a door re-opens. Rein-statement of commitment given…seventy turkeys will be delivered Tuesday...hallelujah!

Economically difficult times strangle the hope out of people who have been living on the edge of existence for generations. A lady bent over from the weight of poverty goes from car to car in the streets begging for money while congress is in pursuit of a future that insures the sanctity of the rich.

Over 150 people came to the pantry seeking sustenance. Food-bank truck delivers five pallets of goods to be set up for distribution outside. Church truck delivers 70 turkeys. Our U-Haul truck picks up over 4000 pounds of food items to be unpacked and distributed from inside the church building. Volunteers busy unloading trucks, organizing boxes, filling out necessary paperwork. Clients start registering as early as 8:30 am.

Not only are many people in our community suffering from food insecurity, there are people all over the world who also are hungry. The travesty in America though is that there are many stores and restaurants that will throw away food rather than give it to their employees, the food-banks, or other non- profits that would give it to those in need. Many entities in this country take the word “profit” into the ultimate realm of cruelty. Angels sweeping through the galaxies take note of man’s inhumanity to man….3% of the population in America control the wealth while 14.5% of the population lives below the poverty line…48.8 million Americans are hungry and of this number 13 million are children…there are about 7 million people unemployed and there are 2.3 million people in prison, the world’s largest incarceration rate.

Demonic forces have battled from the inception of this country against the concept of “justice for all” and once again have become empowered through religious hypocrisy, hatred, and the “love of money” yet the force of good will prevail against this current onslaught of evil.

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Tamam Tracy Moncur - Sun Nov 12, 2017 @ 03:55PM
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billionaires now in power

the darkest of hours has arrived

money now rules...fools on the warpath

yet the Bible says

“For the love of money is the root of all evil…"


the seed of war now planted

into future partnerships with haters…dictators

racism and bigotry

exploding over the country

dropping bomb shards that kill

empathy and reason in the season of hate

to late for justice for all…

hypocritical right winged

Christianity spreads a disease of the mind

with such ease…hypocrisy

continues to promote unjust acts

don't tax the rich

silence the voice of a woman's right to choice

set limitations on the immigration of Muslims

self righteousness rules

the moral right is so confused...

cultivating darkness

embroiling America in

a spiritual contradiction of a religion

devoid of the love of Jesus…

who they profess to believe in

no justice for the oppressed

no justice for the poor

no justice for the downtrodden…

only death, the grave, and hell.

now real justice it seems

has once again become only a dream

of social democracy in the land of the free

wouldn't it have been glorious to see

universal health care

affordable housing everywhere

education for all citizens

sustainable care for the elderly…

living out their lives in peace

the school to prison pipeline eradicated at last

massive incarceration a phenomenon of the past...

O' what a wonderful country this could be…

if taxation of the rich was a reality

helping to pay for social programs

that could assist in the elimination of poverty

and then this nation would truly be

“One nation…under God

with liberty and justice for all.”

Comments: 5
Tamam Tracy Moncur - Sun Oct 15, 2017 @ 09:06AM
Comments: 6

The holidays are drawing near and so many of us are in anticipation of the wonderful time we will have with family and friends. Yet so many others will be entering the season with hunger as their companion; fear hovering in the atmosphere in search of shelter from the winter winds; peace of mind eludes many a stressed-out soul. Where is that turkey with all the trimmings? Where are the candied yams hot from the oven  steaming? Where are the pies cooling in the window with the continual flow of family and friends in and out of the kitchen?

Demons flying in on the wings of Halloween circulate in the sky plotting and planning the death of empathy. Evil spirits slash away at the budget sending citizens reeling into the depths of despair; Fiends cutting SNAP (Food stamps) gleefully derive a sinister pleasure from this ignorant act that will result in many women, children, the disabled, and seniors who will suffer; villains initiating massive tax cuts loom on the horizon of doom, fingers of greed ready to snatch money away from those in need, and then add to their already colossal riches

In the United States 48.8 million Americans are food insecure which means in trying to make ends meet they often do not have enough money left over for good wholesome food. Thirteen million children are hungry. One out of thirty children are homeless which translates into there being about 2.2 million children homeless in America. Thanksgiving and Christmas are special days out of the year where the spirit of giving is stirred up in the heart of the community yet unfortunately hunger, homelessness, and hardship are constants in the lives of those millions of Americans living at or below the poverty line. 

Halloween decorations…pumpkins displaying snaggle-tooth smiles sit between friendly scarecrows watching spiderweb formations trick-or-treating in and out of hunger pangs. Devastation sinks deep into despair stimulating waves of sorrow…no food tomorrow. Baby crying…children whining, “Mommy we hungry!” Multiple trips to the refrigerator divulge the same empty shelves. Lord help me…what can I do? My children need food!

Halloween slides into November…the month of feasting. Turkey talk gobbles up the airways squawking about the sales of the season while a mother’s grief goes unanswered. One callous swipe of the executive pen and the affordable part of health care has been snatched from millions of Americans. There is a direct correlation between eating well, health, and education.  Hungry children are at high risk for health issues and poor academic achievement as well as behavioral problems.

The twins Empathy and Sympathy feed the hungry making scrumptious dinners for those in the community during the months of November and December.Their cousins, Peace and Joy, sing of an everlasting love while distributing toys to little girls and little boys; Kindness passes out coats, hats, scarves, and gloves to ward off the cold. Compassion feels good about giving back to those in need.

The New Year then tolls the bell of fate and rings in hunger, homelessness, and poverty ever ready to continue their reign of terror.

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Tamam Tracy Moncur - Fri Jan 27, 2017 @ 03:11AM
Comments: 15

Pantry insanity once again...the 4th Tuesday has arrived.  Early morning hustle and bustle at the food bank... gathering produce, milk products, canned goods, meat, bread, and so much more depending on the need... all this is free...free for the food bank partners helping to feed America's hungry. Lifting heavy boxes...stacking products on boats...long lines at the checkout...goods wrapped on pallets to be taken to the docks. Loading the truck...next stop House of Love Soup Kitchen. It's a cold, rainy day yet people are lined up already waiting  to take food home to offset their food scarcity.

The food comes from several different sources.  Some from large chain supermarkets, some from smaller markets, and then there are large donations from both the federal government and the state government. I recently participated in the Women's March and I know there were many concerns that were part of the platform; one of them being how nonprofit organizations and the people they serve were going to fare under the Trump administration. A few days into his administration and the decimation has begun...repeal the affordable care act...slash medicare and medicaid budgets...cut back funding to sanctuary cities...executive order to halt immigration from Muslim countries except the one's he does business with...revise the food stamp program...in other words a massive dismantling of projects that service the disadvantaged. Whose neighborhoods will this directly affect?

One out of seven Americans face hunger and 17% of households with children are food insecure...30% of households headed by single women...22% of black households...19% Hispanic households...9% of seniors all of whom face hunger on a daily basis. The people who go to food pantries are suppose to show ID that indicates that they are first of all residents of the state in order to receive state donations;  then for the  federal food donations they have to be on various assistant programs like medicaid or the food stamp program. How will our clients be affected with all the tearing down of assistance programs? Large numbers of people are not only  subjected to food scarcity but now have a large dark cloud of helplessness and hopelessness shrouding their futures?

The House of Love soup Kitchen is a faith based organization. The Bible instructs us to take care of the needy...feed the hungry...clothe the naked, visit the sick, see about those who are in prison...set the oppressed free. Who are the oppressed? Those weighed down by desperate financial conditions, the hungry, the homeless, the mentally ill, the sick...all those shackled and burdened by adverse conditions and circumstances. God has given us direct instructions to help people; to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Does the Trump administration hear GOD's voice?  Are they in tune to serving the needs of all Americans regardless of ethnicity and economic status? Or will the seed of greed and power devour them and us? It's prayer time...praying that America will one day truly become "One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all."

Comments: 15
Tamam Tracy Moncur - Sun Nov 27, 2016 @ 06:21PM
Comments: 15


Pantry insanity…early morning hours filled with hustling and bustling…moving fast going to the food bank...Lord give us the strength we need to succeed… Choices of dairy, produce, bread, canned goods all overflowing from boxes of donations given to feed the hungry of America. Food bank under staffed…funds cut back…moving slow…weighing in…wrapping up goods on pallets…ordering snacks…checking out…almost two hours behind…finally filling the truck with goods to deliver to people waiting patiently in the cold for food to ward off hunger. The crew traveling into a day to be filled with a combination of highs and lows.

Lord give us the strength we need to succeed…People are standing patiently waiting on a cold windy fall day on a promise of turkeys which certainly defines the difference between a want and a need. A need indeed will make a person wait 4 and ½ hours in the cold for a turkey and and other food items…a need indeed will motivate a person to put their families well being above their own creature comforts…a need indeed will compel a person to get on their knees and pray their way through negative circumstances believing that God will make a way…

Lord give us the strength we need to succeed …Organizing the line…unloading the truck…intake table to set up…paperwork to arrange…goods to be bagged up for allocation…volunteers work quickly…arguments quelled…disgruntled feelings appeased…a pallet with eggs and produce left at the food bank…truck goes back to retrieve…pallet given to another organization...keen disappointment…pantry insanity…clients still grateful though in spite of mishap…60 turkeys given out…enough food items all together to service 85 people from the community…day comes to an end even though people are still coming seeking relief from hunger…hoping for something but all is gone...food scarcity is an overwhelming reality in America..


“While hunger has no boundaries, it does impact some communities more than others. African Americans are more likely to suffer from food insecurity as their white, non-Hispanic counterparts. They are disproportionately affected by unemployment and poverty as well.”

Join in the fight against hunger in America!

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