We are committed to spreading warmth and comfort of our product to those in need. Hence, we have developed a donation program, "Sharing our Warmth", which donates money and our product to homeless shelters in the Northeast, USA, India and Nepal.
On Thanksgiving weekend, 2013, our first $500 blanket donation was given to the New York City Rescue Mission which has provided spiritual hope, food, shelter, and clothing to the needy of NYC since 1872. For your donations, please visit: www.nycrescue.org
In addition, we are currently developing a program with our blanket weaver to also donate our blankets to the colder regions of Northern India.
bottom left : Anne Mernin, Director of Outreach with her daughter
more than soup…feeding the soul...
To experience Toni's kitchen is a synchronous orchestration of 10-20 talented and kindhearted people who are more than happy to be volunteering to prepare and serve a hot, nutritious meal for between 60 and 85 guests. All are welcome. Lunch is not merely a place for a meal. It is a place where friends meet, where volunteers and guests share stories and laughter. Birthdays are celebrated and those who have left us are acknowledged and remembered. Lunch is where they break bread together and make the connections that define the community. A dietitian works closely to ensure the meals are nutritionally robust for their often frail population. On the day we were shooting the lunch included: waldorf salad, broccoli soup, green salad, filet minion with gravy and roasted onions, rice with peas and fruit salad and cookies. And while you don’t have to be a skilled cook to work in the kitchen, their volunteers tend to be passionate about two things: the food and the guests.
Their growing community includes the working poor supplementing insufficient incomes and senior citizens whose modest nest eggs don’t cover rising rents. Retired factory workers, musicians, sanitation workers and bus drivers all pass through our doors, some struggling with chronic health conditions, some hampered by illiteracy or never-identified learning disabilities. Others struggle with emotional disabilities or substance abuse.
Nourishing food, served in an atmosphere of warm respect, opens doors to addressing issues that jeopardize independence. Anne Mernin, director of outreach states, "We work with community partners such as the Urban Healthcare Initiative Program, the Mental Health Association of Essex County, Succeed2gether, Mountainside Hospital and others to identify and address risks to independent living. Guests who come for a meal find a full on-site medical clinic, mental health counselors, preventive case management, access to food stamps and educational programs. Those who are overwhelmed find a path forward."
"For much of our history, Anne adds, "Toni’s Kitchen served meals to meet the immediate need to address hunger. But in the spirit of independence, our mission has grown. We now understand the power of food and its ability to create community and trust. And, in trust, doors open to address underlying issues. Everyone who comes through our doors has hard work ahead of them. However, thanks to the committed community we live in — providing volunteers, donors and skilled partners — the work of regaining independence is feasible. It begins with a nourishing meal and tangible respect; and it slowly transforms to self-directed work toward clear goals."
In addition to providing food to the needy, Toni’s Kitchen has grown to also offer skills training, health and wellness, mental health services, gardening, nutrition, personal care, guest mentoring, art and crisis support. There is also a composting program and a program for children and students to volunteer.
Toni’s Kitchen has a newly launched gentle exercise program for its guests, taught by Occupational Therapist and Reiki Master/Teacher Martha Jackman-Bivas and Tai Chi Master (5th Dan) and Teacher Steve Carallo, who have teamed up to provide a unique exercise experience incorporating balance and coordination, light cardiovascular endurance training and muscle endurance techniques. PRITI has donated $500 worth of yoga blankets and funding in support of this new venture.
PRITI is seeking to continually educate consumers about cotton and support India's precious farmers who are in a GMO pesticide crisis. We are dedicated to share information about a program created by Dr. Vandana Shiva called "Seeds of Freedom, Fibres of Freedom." Environmental leader, eco-feminist, philosopher, and quantum physicist, Vandana Shiva's expertise seems to have no limits. She has become a globally respected activist for grassroots and alternative globalization movements, biodiversity, bioethics, intellectual property rights, and sustainable living.
Photo: Nation of Change
Dr. Shiva calls on you to respond to the seed emergency:
"Seed is the source of life and the first link in the food chain. Control over seed means a control over our lives, our food and our freedom... Seed monopolies have pushed 250,000 farmers to commit suicide in India… The multidimensional emergency created by patents on seeds and GMOs needs a global collective response.
Across 17 states in India there are a group of organic seed-collecting activists who have decided to take Monsanto and other Big Ag and chemical companies down in this interminable fight the old-fashioned way – by beating them at their own game. The seed bank, called Navdanya also has a learning center called Bija Vidyapeeth (meaning school of the seed) that teaches the importance of biodiversity, conservation of the earth’s resources and organic farming methods.
The organization refers to GMOs as “biopiracy” and aims to rejuvenate the indigenous farming practices that have been passed down for multiple generations, often for more than thousands of years. The desire to teach people of their food rights and alternate means to staying healthy and well fed in the face of climate change without the use of genetically altered seeds and the herbicides, like Round Up, which are utilized to grow them.
PRITI blankets and garments are woven under the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), a textile certification of compliance for the processing of fibres from certified organic agriculture. Priti also makes a commitment to partner with companies that offer proper wages and salaries to all involved. We also support the emerging fairly traded and organic cotton trade and utilize azo free dyes.