Eva’s Village fills critical need

When it comes to the coronavirus, there’s vulnerable and then there’s vulnerable. Most of us worry about a short supply of hand sanitizer or toilet paper but some of us live meal to meal and that makes a place like Eva’s village even more critical.

“We normally have 300 to 400 people from the community, the working poor and the homeless, eating at our community kitchen,” explains Dan Renaldo, CEO of Eva’s Village. “That’s obviously not safe. We’ve got to keep our social distance. We’re following the CDC and the governor’s recommendations, so we’ve established a takeout service.”

“We’re getting a lot of thanks, our team, for continuing the service. They know what’s going on. They feel the anxiety that we all feel. And so there’s a lot of appreciation,” he added.

Chef David Bein says this will be normal for the foreseeable future.

“We’re still maintaining the lunch service which is a twice a day service. We’re looking to feed upward of 400 to 500 people a day,” he said. “It’s a change, but so far it’s been a welcome change as opposed to the more drastic option of having to suspend service altogether.”

Mayor Andre Sayegh says Eva’s Village has evolved from Eva’s Kitchen, founded over 40 years ago.

“They’re essential to what we’re trying to do here to help the homeless because government doesn’t always have the solutions that why we look to our non profit partners to assist us in providing relief for those that need it the most,” he added.

On most days the line for lunch at Eva’s Village could extend around the corner and number from 300 to 500. That’s business as usual here. But business as usual is out the window, and Renaldo says that within just a couple of weeks this line could end up numbering over a thousand.