Do you or someone you know own a food service business that is looking to take what may be extra quantities of food and donate them to feed the less-fortunate? Then, the would like to hear from you.
The organization recently launched its "Kitchen-to-Kitchen" program, which pairs up those businesses with the CSK, which has served lunch every day straight for over 10,000 days.
The press release is below:
Take a local Soup Kitchen . Then add the challenge of complying with Board of Health regulations that volunteers can no longer prepare food at home. Add a dash of creativity and a pinch of determination. Mix with a seasoned retired restaurateur who is looking to give back to the community. Sprinkle with a handful of generous local businesses. And presto ... a widely supported and successful "Kitchen to Kitchen" program is born to support the Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center in Morristown, NJ.
Since its inception, the Soup Kitchen has been committed to providing nutritious meals in a warm, safe, and caring environment, free of charge, no questions asked to anyone who comes through its doors. The Community Soup Kitchen has proven itself by overcoming many obstacles along the way. They have continued to , flooding, sweltering heat, and power outages. They have also overcome longer term challenges. Three major recessions have swelled the number of guests and driven up costs.
The latest in a string of challenges is complying with Board of Health regulations. The new "Kitchen to Kitchen" program, where local restaurants and caterers are preparing and donating entrees and soup to the Soup Kitchen, has paved the way for the Soup Kitchen to continue to feed and help up to 300 men, women and children a day.
Almost 30 local restaurants and caterers, under the direction of "Kitchen to Kitchen" volunteer coordinator Alan Weinstein, have stepped up to help the Soup Kitchen by providing soup and entrees to feed the homeless and working poor. Local restaurants such as The Madison Hotel and Park Savoy have supported the Soup Kitchen for years. Now, numerous others have joined them in helping to fight hunger in the community.
"We do it because community outreach makes the soul feel good," said Noelle Ifshin, Vice President of Operations of Ome Caterers. Over the last few months, Ome Caterers have provided over 250 servings of freshly made baked ziti parmigianino with sausage and beef bolognese, hearty soup, chipotle crusted lime tilapia over rice and beans -- dishes that the Soup Kitchen guests raved about!
Local businesses who are donating food to the Community Soup Kitchen on an ongoing basis, and helping the Soup Kitchen to meet this challenge, include: America's Grow-a-Row; Birchwood Manor; Bonefish Grill; Costco Wholesale; Far Hills Country Day School; Food Company; ; Grow It Green Morristown; Hamilton Park; ; ; Lanca Sales; Madison Farmers Market; Main Street Submarines; Morris County Golf Club; ; ; Ome Caterers; The Park Savoy; ; ; ; ; ; ; Trader Joe's; ; ; and Whole Foods Market.
Weinstein, former owner of The Park Savoy, has been a lifesaver to the Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center. At about the time that the Board of Health informed the Soup Kitchen that they could no longer accept food prepared by volunteers at home, Weinstein appeared at the Soup Kitchen asking how he could help. After brainstorming, the concept of the "Kitchen to Kitchen" program was born and Weinstein has recruited numerous local restaurants and caterers to supply food for the Soup Kitchen on an ongoing basis.
"The sharing of food is a custom that has been practiced throughout the ages. 'Kitchen to Kitchen' connects local restaurants and caterers to the Community Soup Kitchen, and therefore the community at large. It is a very simple, natural and important partnership," Weinstein said.
The new program is innovative and at the same time helps the Community Soup Kitchen to continue to fulfill its mission of feeding and helping our many neighbors in need. "The Soup Kitchen's over 2,000 volunteers have been impressed by the generosity of the local restaurants and caterers and we have encouraged our volunteers to patronize these businesses and thank them personally," commented Teresa Connolly, Executive Director of the Soup Kitchen. "Weinstein and the 'Kitchen to Kitchen' program have been a lifesaver to the Soup Kitchen -- it has helped us to continue to keep our doors open, 365 days a year."
The Soup Kitchen is more than a safety net – it is a large, close-knit family. Over the years, the number and diversity of guests has increased dramatically. Today the dining room still provides a safe haven for the homeless and mentally ill, but it is also filled with entire families, and the working poor each day.
As the Soup Kitchen population has grown and changed they have kept pace by adding an Outreach Center which assists guests with accessing community resources, services, and educational programs. By empowering guests now, many will live more independently in the future.
The new "Kitchen to Kitchen" program is the Soup Kitchen's latest creative response to make sure that they continue their 27-year tradition of being there to feed and help the homeless and working poor. For more information about the Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center, visit www.cskmorristown.org.