Home Sweet Home – Toni’s Van Recovered

Thursday, May 3 – Toni’s Kitchen, the food ministry of St. Luke’s, is delighted to report that their hard-working van, stolen early last week, is safely back where it belongs. It’s been a week of major disruption coupled with an incredible outpouring from the community. “We’ve really come to understand how important the van is to this busy food ministry,” said Rev. John Mennell of St. Luke’s, home to Toni’s Kitchen. Toni’s Kitchen provided 138,000 meals in 2017. The stolen van was used daily to pick up food from donor organizations and to deliver food out into the community.

The Ford Transit Connect van was stolen from the parking lot of St. Luke’s Church last Monday when a man entered the Church offices after hours and stole checks, money and the keys to the van. The vehicle was found abandoned in Newark and retrieved from the impound lot today. It is in good condition, just needing some cleaning up and new keys. “We are tremendously relieved to have the van safely home, reported Anne Mernin, Director of Toni’s Kitchen. “We feel whole again!”

Toni’s Kitchen is grateful to everyone who stepped up to make this difficult period a bit easier. A very special thanks to Kerry Verrone and the Montclair Kimberly Academy for swiftly arranging to cover some key food pickups. We are tremendously grateful for all the warm support we have received from our community. Most heartwarming, guests of Toni’s Kitchen asked if they could organize a fundraiser to help. Rev. Mennell summarized the experience, “Our guests and our community are very special people indeed!”