The New York Yankees are proud to continue HOPE Week 2012 (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) on Tuesday by celebrating the charitable work performed by Jorge Munoz. Yankees players Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Hiroki Kuroda and Boone Logan will honor Jorge Munoz by surprising him in the kitchen of his home and helping him cook the daily meal he prepares for 140 people. Later that afternoon, Munoz and his family will be the Yankees’ special guests for their 7:05 p.m. game vs. Cleveland. They will watch batting practice from the field and be part of pregame on-field ceremonies. Shortly after the start of the game, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman along with Yankees front office staff and former HOPE Week honorees will join Munoz in traveling back to Queens to assist in distributing food to the hungry at Munoz’s usual time and location (9:30 p.m. underneath the elevated subway tracks at Roosevelt Avenue and 73rd Street).
THE STORY OF JORGE MUNOZ, “AN ANGEL IN QUEENS”
Known as the “Angel in Queens,” Jorge Munoz, 48, emigrated from his native Colombia in the 1980s with his mother and sister, and spent his subsequent years working in retail stores and as a school bus driver. In 2004, he drove past a group of mostly Latino day laborers who were standing underneath the elevated subway tracks on the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 73rd Street in Jackson Heights, Queens. They told him that on days they cannot find work, they go hungry.
Identifying with their plight, he began bringing them food. That first night it was eight brown bag sandwiches. Now, eight years later, he is responsible for feeding as many as 140 individuals a night with meals ranging from chicken with rice, to beef with pasta, to pork with beans. While some neighborhood businesses contribute supplies, the majority of cooking is done by Munoz, his sister and an assistant cook in the tiny Queens home he shares with his mother, his sister and her son.
Since beginning his work with the hungry in 2004, he has established his own nonprofit and served over 70,000 meals to New Yorkers who otherwise could not afford to routinely enjoy a hot meal. Jorge has missed serving food just one night over the last seven years due to an impassable snowstorm. He continues despite being laid off from his job in December.