FRIDAY SOUP KITCHEN
ANNUAL REPORT 2017
Now in its fourth decade, Friday Soup Kitchen continues its mission of providing hot, healthy and nourishing meals to our hungry neighbors. We do this in a communal dining room that encourages guests to develop a rapport with both fellow guests and our forty-to-fifty loyal volunteers each week. Our doors are open 52 Fridays each year and we never turn away anyone in need of food.
Here are a few statistics from recent studies* that track the issues of hunger in New York City and underline why the food programs at All Souls are ever more
Nearly half of all working-age New York City residents who can’t afford enough food live in households that include at least one working person
By 2015 (latest survey figures), just under one million people were “food insecure” in New York City.
The recently passed Federal budget, while not completely final, would substantially reduce the SNAP Program (food stamps) each year over the next 10 years
*Sources: Hunger Free America and The Hamilton Report (Brookings)
During the past year, we have again seen an increase in the number of guests coming to FSK. Many new faces who have become regulars. And the age of our guests appear to be decreasing as more New Yorkers fall through the net of social programs available. We make available to guests several brochures which list available services, including all meal programs, showering facilities, clothing availability, shelters, plus the phone numbers of many social service agencies.
To support FSK, we are continually fund-raising to meet our needs. In addition to the support we get from Heart & Soul, many current and former volunteers are very generous in supporting us financially.
This year, we have formed new partnerships with local schools. We’re especially excited about our work with the All Souls Preschool. The children decorated the gift bags that we used for the scarves that were given to all our guests for Christmas. Plus, the Parents Association held a bake sale, netting nearly $600 that was donated to FSK. Many thanks to Erin Strouse and Gretchen Wiker.
Another partnership has been established with The Hewitt School. They shared in both the cost and the making of our holiday scarves. And on January 5, when temperatures were at 10 below zero. We were able to give out two pair of warm socks to every single guest – all collected and packaged by the Hewitt children.
Goals for 2018
We will continue our outreach to the congregation and service groups of All Souls to have them more involved in Friday Soup Kitchen activities. Part of this plan will be speaking to the various groups and generating ideas for participation.
We will continue investigating new methods of fund-raising, including monthly contributions and creation of an internet funding site.
We will focus on creating an even more dynamic relationship with our fabulous volunteers, who are truly the heart of our program. In addition to social outings, we will encourage volunteers to become more active in school programs, social media and connecting with potential business partners.
Volunteers are always welcome, especially from the All Souls Congregation