Pancho’s Kitchen donates more than 200 meals weekly to help Gloryshines Foundation

This is a recurring recording of WBNG's 6am Morning Newscast.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 10:00 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 11:44 AM EDT
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Gloryshines is a new non-profit organization that started in April 2023. Its mission is to bridge the gap between community and family to encourage and inspire the community during hard times.

Sana Wakefield is the chief executive director for Gloryshines. She said she and her colleagues realized how much work needs to be done in the community and that is what they are set out to do.

“It empowers me but at the same time, for every 200 people that get a meal, there are hundreds of thousands of people that don’t have a meal,” Wakefield said. “So, that realization motivates me as well, that even though it may be on a small scale it is still needed and still contributing something.”

So far, they have helped feed the YMCA, the Mental Health Association residential house and some people and families who are homeless due to the affordable housing crisis.

Recently, they started giving hot meals weekly to families affected by this crisis who are being placed in hotels. This is the start of a bigger project beginning in October.

“Pancho’s Kitchen is a part of that program,” Wakefield said. “So, Pancho’s Kitchen will be catering one of the weeks in October and will be feeding 250 people or more. But, in the meantime, a lot of people have been calling and we’ve been getting a lot of referrals 211 and United Way have been super helpful. They have been referring a lot of people. So, we’ll be getting referrals weekly, and that’s where Pancho’s Kitchen comes in handy.”

Pancho’s Kitchen is a Caribbean restaurant located in Binghamton. It has agreed to help Gloryshines by feeding the families and people housed in these hotels who do not have kitchens, stoves or the money to feed themselves.

Rolando Byfield is the chef at Pancho’s Kitchen. Byfield said he is beyond grateful to be helping people in need and being a part of something great.

“I can’t even explain the feeling it brings within me to know I’m offering a service to those people that don’t have that road right now to get the food going,” Byfield said. “It brings me joy and love that I can help other people. I’ve been there before not having a stove or a hot meal at night and it hurts.”

When the bigger scale operation starts in October, there will be Halal options, gluten-free options and choices for those who have dietary restrictions.

To learn more about Gloryshines Foundation you can check out its website here.