For more than 10,000 days over 27 years, the Community Soup Kitchen & Outreach Center in Morristown has been feeding the hungry with help from volunteers who give their time and talent to the cause. Not only could people come to the Soup Kitchen to serve food, they could make the food at home and bring it to the Center. That was, of course, until local health officials began enforcing a mandate that said volunteers no longer could prepare food at home.
Enter the creative and generous people who run Morristown restaurants – 30 establishments in all, and growing – who have stepped up to help the Soup Kitchen, which serves up to 300 individuals daily at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer and at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on Saturdays.
It’s called “Kitchen to Kitchen,” and it all started when former Park Savoy owner Alan Weinstein read about the Board of Health’s regulations. He approached the board at the Soup Kitchen, and the “Kitchen to Kitchen” program was created.
With his connections to local businesses, Weinstein easily stepped into the role of coordinator for the program. He explains his inspiration was born from the idea that “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,” he said.
Now, local restaurants and caterers are serving up meals like baked ziti with sausage and beef bolognese, hearty soup selections, and chipotle crusted lime talapia over rice and beans – 250 servings–worth at each gathering.
Participating businesses include Ome Caterers; America’s Grow-a-Row; Birchwood Manor; Bonefish Grill; Costco Wholesale; Far Hills Country Day School; Food Company; Grand Cafe; Grow It Green Morristown; Hamilton Park; J & K Steakhouse; Kings; Lanca Sales; Madison Farmers Market; Main Street Submarines; Morris County Golf Club; Morristown Deli; Morristown Farmers Market; Ome Caterers; The Park Savoy; Pazzo Pazzo; Provesi; Rod’s Steak & Seafood Grille/The Madison Hotel; Starbucks; Sweet Lucy’s; Tim Schafer’s Cuisine; Trader Joe’s; Urban Table; Westin Governor Morris; and Whole Foods Market.
Noelle Ifshin, vice president of Operations at Ome Caterers says, “We do it because community outreach makes the soul feel good.”
Not only that, but it helps the Soup Kitchen’s more than 2,000 volunteers keep it open 365 days a year. Along with the Soup Kitchen, the Outreach Center provides guests (from the homeless to the working poor) with access to community resources and educational programs, to help them live more independently in the future. To learn more about “Kitchen to Kitchen” or any of the other programs at the Community Soup Kitchen & Outreach Center in Morristown, visit cskmorristown.org.