The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) is the only weekday soup kitchen in Mercer County. Its mission is to feed those who are hungry in the Trenton area and offer programs to encourage self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life of its patrons.
TASK serves lunch Monday to Friday and dinner Monday to Thursday at its main facility on Escher Street in Trenton. To reduce the distance between TASK patrons and the services they need, TASK has established satellite meal service locations throughout Mercer County.
At present, TASK serves 11 such locations in West Trenton, South Trenton, North Trenton, Hamilton, Hightstown, Princeton, and Yardville. The soup kitchen has never turned anyone away who wanted a meal. Last year TASK provided more than 250,000 well-balanced, nutritious meals to folks in the Mercer County area.
Feeding the hungry is only the first step. TASK also offers programs that encourage self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life of its patrons.
TASK’s Adult Education Program (AEP) helps patrons of the soup kitchen achieve self-sufficiency and reach their personal goals through individualized tutoring in literacy and math, as well as preparation for the high-school equivalency diploma exams. To date TASK’s Adult Education Program has helped hundreds of students improve their academic skills and experience success. This year 21 students have obtained part-time or full-time employment through TASK’s program.
TASK also works very closely with other organizations that serve the hungry and low-income individuals and families. Most recently, TASK began a collaboration with the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank and local schools to address childhood hunger. Every Friday during the academic year TASK provides children enrolled in the Send Hunger Packing Program with meal packs that contain two breakfast meals, two lunches/dinners, and nutritionally balanced snacks. Included periodically are learning activities and written materials geared toward good health and healthy eating habits.
TASK relies very heavily on support from individuals and corporations. Of every dollar donated, 86 cents directly support TASK programming. It is one of the reasons that, for the past 10 consecutive years, TASK has received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, the country’s leading independent evaluator of nonprofits in the United States. For more information, interested readers could visit www.trentonsoupkitchen.org.
Anyone who has questions or who would like to make a financial donation or schedule a date to volunteer may contact J. Steinhauer, TASK Community Relations and Development Coordinator, at 609-695-5456, ext. 108, or Jsteinhauer@trentonsoupkitchen.org. See ad, page 20.