Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen offers summer food program
N2N Lifeline 2011 funding provides The Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK) with fresh fruits & produce for summer food programs.
The Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK) has been extremely fortunate to have the Neighbor to Neighbor Lifeline Grant funding this year. It truly has been a lifeline to many of DESK’s food programs, especially the bag lunch program & the weekly food pantry. DESK began the 2011 summer in early June by serving over 250 individuals at the evening meal. The months of May-September are the busiest times for DESK and the increase for food requests can often double in all of DESK food programs.
The demand for bag lunches for the working poor has also increased and soon this summer bag lunch will be provided for school age children during the summer months. These bag lunches have been drastically upgraded, thanks to the N2N Lifeline funding. Fresh fruit is now a staple in each bag, depending on the availability oranges, peaches, apples, grapes and plums are among the recent favorites. One DESK guest commented that he particularly likes the fresh fruit which he knows” is very healthy for him” and he cannot, himself, afford fresh fruit every day. The commitment to provide DESK’s guest more fresh fruit in every meal offered is directly because of the N2N funding on 2011.
In addition, the DESK weekly food pantry has also significantly upgraded its fresh fruit and produce for its guests. Bags of food items are now accompanied by bags of fresh produce and fruit. Lettuce, kale, peppers, onions, potatoes, radishes, carrots and tomatoes are now frequent choices for the DESK participants in the weekly food pantry. Fruits, berries, bananas and even figs have graced the DESK pantry on recent weeks all because of the N2N lifeline funding. The families who participate in the food pantry often times have access to cooking are extremely happy to get more fresh fruit & produce. One women said it “was so good” to get fresh produce for her family, since “many times food assistance is only in the form of canned food items and that is not as healthy as fresh vegetables”.
As DESK approaches its 25th anniversary of fighting hunger in greater New Haven, it wants to thank all those who have helped & supported DESK throughout the years. Certainly, the initiation of the Neighbor to Neighbor Lifeline funding has been a critical funding resource for DESK since its inception.
Please visit us at: www.downtowneveningsoupkitchen.com for all the ways in which you can help DESK throughout the summer and sign up for our E-News Letter! Serve with us or attend one of our many fun events. And please join us for the Ride To End hunger, a charity motorcycle ride to benefit DESK on Sunday, September 11, 2011. This is the 6th season for this event and DESK is excited about this year’s ride and the ending BBQ at the Carousel House, Light House Point, New Haven. And if you do not ride join us for a great BBQ with music and raffles. Details: www.ridetoendhunger.com
It takes a community of caring devoted partners and citizens supporting DESK to feed the hungry in New Haven.
Diana M. Richter, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen