On Friday, September 15, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) will host a festive BBQ meal to commemorate Hunger Action Month, offering food, fun, and community.
TASK invites the public to stop by 72 ½ Escher Street to enjoy a delicious meal prepared by the TASK kitchen at this outdoor, tented event that will also feature live music from TASK’s house band, The FunkTASKtiks, under a tent at neighboring Capital City Farm.
During September, hunger relief agencies nationwide joined to raise awareness about food insecurity, which is surging across the United States. This event marks an opportunity for TASK, founded by community organizers in 1982, to gather diners, staff, volunteers, donors, and community partners to bring attention to an important issue facing the Trenton area.
Today, TASK serves more than 9,000 meals per week at its Escher Street dining room and 35 community meal sites across Greater Mercer County. In addition to meal service, TASK also offers case management, adult education, job search, creative arts programs, and the provision of necessities.
“Over the past year, we have seen a surge in the amount of folks coming to us for food and hygiene products,” says Joyce E. Campbell, TASK’s CEO. “The cost of housing, stagnant wages, and inflation have all contributed to increased food insecurity across our area, including places where hunger is more hidden, like Princeton, NJ, and neighboring Bucks County, PA. Many face difficult choices between food and other expenses like rent, medical care, and transportation. Organizations like TASK are needed now more than ever.”
To that end, TASK is exploring new and different ways to meet the rising needs of the community. Last year, TASK opened up for a sixth day of meal service for the first time. Beginning in 2024, TASK will take meals on the road with a mobile delivery truck that can expand its reach.
“More food, more places. That’s the key,” says Campbell. “By providing folks with food, we can help to relieve them of these difficult decisions and help them on the path to self-sufficiency.”
“We couldn’t do any of this without the support of our community,” Campbell adds. “This event is for them – we want everyone to know their impact is felt and appreciated.”
On September 15, TASK looks forward to providing a good meal and an opportunity for community engagement. At 1:00 pm, those who wish to join are invited to move indoors for a brief ceremony that will feature reflections on Hunger Action Month and an opportunity to recognize several vital contributors over the past year, including Advocate of the Year, Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli, Volunteer of the Year, Maureen Clark; and two Community Partner of the Year awardees, Dr. Nicole McGrath of KinderSmile and Chris Hillman of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
This event is being brought to the community with the help of Capital Health; NJM Insurance Group; OceanFirst Bank and OceanFirst Foundation; The Br’Island Group, LLC; Princeton Partners; Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton; ETS; Pennington Quality Market; Lear & Pannepacker, LLP; and more.
TASK, which has been serving meals in the Mercer County region since 1982, offers many resources to encourage self-sufficiency and improve quality of life, including meals, social services, adult education, job search assistance, creative arts enrichment, and the provision of necessities.