by Uma Patel ’22
Published Dec. 23rd, 2020
As the pandemic soldiers on, organizations such as the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, located in Trenton, NJ, are facing monumental setbacks due to a lack of volunteers and a loss of the ability to run in-person. Keeping their patrons safe and providing for them in the best way they can has caused a lot of trouble.
Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, also known as TASK, typically holds all of their meals in-person as well as various classes for their patrons: art, tutoring, mindfulness, etc. Samira Ghani, who is part of the TASK team, says that they are dedicated to “providing support, both physically and emotionally, to those who can’t get it themselves.”
Yet this goal has become increasingly difficult. TASK now gives out food to patrons outside. Most patrons are not able to attend any of their regular classes or activities, except for the few that have proper Internet access.
Not to mention, there is an extreme lack of extra hands since volunteering has come to a halt. Between switching up operations and running out of items usually collected from drives, the workers have been stressed trying to serve in the best way possible.
Teens4TASK, a teen group within TASK, is focusing on ways to fundraise to offer opportunities for the community to support TASK in a safe and virtual way. However, Michelle Ji, a board member of Teens4TASK, said she finds it hard to execute fundraisers that are not only completely virtual, but also effective and efficient.
“The hardest part,” she admits, “is finding ideas that people will spend money for. People want to help, but it’s our job to make it worth it.”