The last thing anyone should ever be worried about is where they will find their next meal. Yet many continue to struggle with food insecurity – a situation exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. In an organic community-wide effort to help keep people as healthy and safe as possible, the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) has joined the City of Trenton and Meals on Wheels of Mercer County to feed more than 500 senior citizens.
“I got a call from the city’s director of social work and community relations asking whether we could provide some meals for the city’s senior housing complexes,” said TASK Executive Director Joyce Campbell. “Of course, I said yes.”
City officials identified 14 public housing sites that needed a total of 563 meals. The TASK kitchen staff now prepares the food and city employees delivers the meals to residents. Seniors are given the same hot, nutritious, USDA-approved meals, that TASK serves to all its patrons every Monday-Friday, no questions asked. TASK also provides specially prepared meals for seniors on dialysis who have specific dietary requirements as well as those participating in a weekend feeding program.
“We hear from the city workers who are delivering the meals that residents are grateful for the meals and think the food is delicious.” Campbell said.
All of the meals are delivered in sustainable insulated trays – the same items used to transport meals to 16 TASK community partner sites in other parts of the city and to towns nearby. Since closing the TASK dining room earlier this month to help stem the spread of COVID-19, the soup kitchen has continued to serve food in wrapped to-go containers from our front door at 72 ½ Escher Street in Trenton.
The collaboration between the city and TASK has also helped Meals on Wheels – an agency that delivers meals to people who are homebound. The organization recently sent out a request for volunteers as many of its own stopped service after the virus spread through the county. TASK began serving city seniors on March 23 and “will continue providing this meal service for as long as we are able to do so.” Campbell said. “We are committed to collaboration.”