Weekend Meal Service at Other Organizations
30 ways to help TASK
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen was founded in the early 1980's by a small group of individuals from local churches and service organizations. Their goal was to feed the truly needy people of Trenton five days a week.
On a cold day in January of 1982, sixty hungry people gathered for the free meal in the basement of a Trenton church. By the end of that year, more 40,000 meals had been served. No one knew there were so many hungry people in Trenton.
TASK remained in its basement home until 1986 when it became clear that no single congregation or social service facility had adequate space to accommodate the soup kitchen's ever growing clientele. TASK needed a home of its own. By the summer of 1986, the soup kitchen was renting temporary space from the Salvation Army and thanks to their generosity a six-month lease became a five-year stay.
In 1987, the City of Trenton made land available on Escher Street and an ambitious four-year fund-raising effort was initiated. Through the generosity of area foundations, corporations, civic groups, community organizations, labor unions, churches, synagogues, and more then 2,500 individuals, $600,000 was raised. This was enough to build our current facility. In July 1991, the building was dedicated and named "Gilman-Stanley" in honor of Rev. Arthur L. Stanley, the founder of TASK, and Ed Gilman, board president at that time. The first meal served in the new facility was on July 22, 1991.
Since then, the activities of TASK have expanded to include outreach programs such as adult education, computer training, health care counseling, screening and referrals, social services, children's activities, and arts and crafts.
A more detailed history of TASK can be read here.
South Trenton Soup Kitchen
In January 2003, TASK collaborated with the First Baptist Church of Trenton and El Centro de Recursos para Familias to form the South Trenton Soup Kitchen. Beginning with only one evening of meal service, the program has expanded to include two additional nights. It served 11,300 meals in 2003, and is expected to serve more than 30,000 meals in 2004.
Overall, this program has been an incredible success, both in terms of the number of meals served and the number of volunteers who have become involved.
The South Trenton Soup Kitchen now serves meals three nights per week (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday) to those in need in the South Ward. A TASK van travels from the Escher Street facility to the First Baptist Church on each of the three evenings to deliver hot meals along with other donations for the individuals and families served. Volunteers from the church and community serve the meals and help with cleanup.
Volunteers are especially needed at the South Trenton Soup Kitchen.