Neither blizzards nor sweltering heat have closed its doors. Despite floods and power outages, meals have been prepared every day for more than 27 years.
To commemorate its dedication and service to Morristown, the will hold a special party in the dining room for its guests on April 18—the kitchen's 10,000th consecutive day of serving local community members.
“We’re going to try to have some special things for the guests who come to the soup kitchen that day,” Marla Drury, the organization’s director of development and community outreach, said. “We’re trying to put together a bag of food for them to take with them.”
Additionally, the 10,000th day will serve as the official kickoff of the center’s Kitchen to Kitchen program, for which local restaurants and caterers are preparing and donating food.
Drury said the program was thought up last year after the town’s Board of Health decided it would begin treating the kitchen like a retail food establishment.
Essentially, all food must now be prepared at the soup kitchen or come directly from a certified kitchen, such as a restaurant or caterer. Therefore, among other stipulations, the kitchen can no longer accept food prepared by people in their homes.
The 23 local restaurants and caterers that are signed on to help represent both chain retail operations, such as and , and local standalones, such as .
The 10,000th day and Kitchen to Kitchen kickoff will just be the centerpiece of a week designed to celebrate the center’s success.
The following day, the soup kitchen will have its annual fundraiser dinner and silent auction at the Madison Hotel.
“We always have [the fundraiser] in April, depending on when Easter and Passover fall,” Drury said, noting the fortunate coincidence that the 10,000th day is also occurring this month.
On April 17, the soup kitchen will run a food drive in front of the facility to fill its Toyota Sienna minivan, which it in the auto company’s 100 Cars for Good competition. Interested participants can drop off food that day from 9 to 11 a.m. and again from 1 to 3 p.m.
Those who cannot make it out in person can also participate in the kitchen’s online food drive.
Drury said the success that the soup kitchen, which feeds and helps up to 300 men, women and children daily, has enjoyed over the past 27 years has only possible thanks to the various local businesses, congregations and more than 2,000 local volunteers who help out throughout the years.