Michael Ottley, Chief Operating Officer, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

With over 30 years in hospitality management and food operations, Chef Michael Ottley has put his craft and skills to use in impactful new ways as Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen's Director of Operations since 2009. The Soup Kitchen is the largest emergency feeding program in New York, the second largest in the country, and currently serving over 5,000 meals each week.
In addition to building relationships with local farmers, purveyors and food rescue organizations to ensure fresh ingredients for the Soup Kitchen, he has redesigned the menu, implemented composting and recycling plans as well as a Zero Waste by 2020 initiative, and expanded the volunteer program. He has also added social services programs to assist guests with SNAP and Medicaid enrollment, access to clothing and toiletries, and medical and housing referrals. In 2018, the social services team conducted 60,135 counseling sessions, and in 2019, the Soup Kitchen began partnering with the city to serve as a warming center when temperatures dip below freezing.
An industry thought leader and anti-hunger advocate, Michael launched the Brown Bag Lunch Program for homeless individuals around Penn Station, families living in shelters, homeless students at PS 33, and low-income seniors living in Penn South. In 2018, his staff started the Backpack Pantry Program to provide weekend meals for families, and most recently he launched Sunday Suppers, an intergenerational meal to revitalize the family tradition. Recognizing an opportunity to help individuals seeking culinary careers gain employment at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, he has been working with the Doe Fund and C-CAP (Career through the Culinary Arts Program).
Michael's true passions are food and community. He helped bring the first two farmers markets to Chelsea in 2014 and, thanks to a partnership he formed with the NYC Department of Sanitation, the Soup Kitchen is a local composting site. Later this year, he will oversee a seasonable vegetable garden so that neighborhood participants can learn about nutrition, sustainability, and composting, and gain an appreciation for nature.
A native of the Finger Lakes region, Michael is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and a member of The American Culinary Federation. In 2017, he was appointed to the Governor's Not-for-Profit Contracting Advisory Committee on Inter-Agency Relationships, which advises the Governor, Comptroller, and State Agencies on issues in the nonprofit sector.