The latest New Yorker of the Week's morning routine includes sharing the most important of the meal of the day to those who need it most. NY1's John Schiumo filed the following report.
On some mornings, Teddy Fitzgibbons buys 60 breakfast sandwiches. Not all for himself. Before he heads to work, the 24-year-old hands them out to New Yorkers in need.
"Even when I don't have breakfast, my day is much worse off, and I can’t imagine, you know, what that situation is like for someone who's slept outside in the cold or in the rain. I think the best thing I can do for them is give them, you know, a little bit of hope to wake up to," Fitzgibbons says.
This story started two years ago. On his way to work, a man about Teddy's age asked if he was going to finish his half-eaten sandwich.
"I turned around and handed him the rest of the breakfast sandwich, and you know, his eyes lit up," he says.
Inspired by the emotional exchange, Teddy founded "Hearty Start." Using online donations, the nonprofit purchases sandwiches from local delis and hires formerly homeless individuals, like Munoz Price, to deliver the food.
"You may not understand why breakfast makes someone feel self-sufficient, but it will be the motivational force that will move them forward in seeking things that will help them lift out their current plight," Price says.
Four days a week, the team visits parks and transportation hubs across Manhattan.
"It makes me feel wonderful. It makes me feel like somebody cares about me," says one sandwich recipient.
"When I get a sandwich early in the morning, oh man, you know how a car gets gas? It starts me up. He jump-starts me," says another.
Hearty Start is on track to deliver 11,000 sandwiches by the end of the year.
"Food is such a requirement of life. It’s not something that I believe should have to be earned," Fitzgibbons says.
"As we were giving sandwiches, this man comes up to me and he starts crying, and he says, 'We need more people like you out here,'" says volunteer Konig Chen. "I almost started crying because it's very emotional. It touches your heart."
So, for giving those without a home a hearty start, Teddy Fitzgibbons is the latest New Yorker of the Week.