The Witness of Love and Welcome With a Brown Bag Lunch

The Witness of Love and Welcome With a Brown Bag Lunch

“It’s her only meal for the day,” says Father Gerardo Romo, about the brown bag lunch that he hands out to a particular woman each week at the East Hampton Long Island Rail Road station. “She rents a room but has no right to use the kitchen and is not allowed to bring food into her room.” Because she doesn’t own a car, instead relying on friends and co-workers for rides, and because public transit is sparse out in eastern Suffolk County, she has further difficulties making it to a store.

The Brown Bag Lunch program began back in February as a part of the East End Latino ministry of the Diocese of Long Island. Father Romo started the Brown Bag Lunch program after noticing the many laborers who gathered daily looking for work at the East Hampton station.

“Often, they are not hired, but they still have to eat. And food is very expensive in the area,” said Fr. Romo. So he began to bring them food. “Many of the workers eat their lunches right away after they receive them because they are hungry. They are very grateful,” he added.

The program now delivers meals to workers three days a week and is supported by volunteers, mostly from St. Luke’s in East Hampton. But the support continues to grow. A local synagogue now delivers lunches on Thursdays.

Father Romo has experienced others in the community also taking note, “I think the witness of love and welcoming is contagious. Recently, I was buying bananas and the person behind me in line asked why I was buying so many. After I told them about the program, they offered to pay to contribute. The extravagantly abundant grace of God keeps pouring.”

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