By Jacob Kronberg SYRACUSE N.Y. (NCC NEWS) — Syracuse native John Tumino and his wife, Leigh-Ann, started a not-for-profit organization in 2011 to better the lives of the homeless in Syracuse.
Tumino, a minister and former restaurant owner, had the name In My Father’s Kitchen come to him one day during his prayer time. He wanted to combine his two loves. Christianity and cooking.
“My father would be like your heavenly father, and the kitchen is just the symbolism of him meeting me in my everyday work environment with my natural talent,” said Tumino.
Tumino goes above and beyond to help the homeless. When most people try to help people in need they donate ripped-up dirty clothes or half-working toys. Over at In My Father’s Kitchen, everything is new.
“Well they’re just a homeless person, so it’s better than nothing, but I’m like, how about we give them better than something, said Tumino. “Elevate and raise the bar and show them, ‘Hey, you’re worth that,’ and to me, it’s like showering them with love when they feel like they don’t deserve it.”
This winter Tumino and his wife went around to every homeless person they know to get their shoe size and pant size. They then distributed underwear, jeans, socks, and snow boots to all of them. All of which still had the tags on them.
The organization collects donations from people every Friday from and stores them on racks based on size. They are ready at all times to be dispersed to those who need them.
In its eight years of existence, In My Father’s Kitchen has helped get 106 homeless people off the streets of Syracuse.