By: Zion Lee
It seems life has taken a sharp turn with the global pandemic brought by COVID-19. Yet, as time has gone on, society has proven to be able to adapt as the unfortunate circumstances of COVID-19 have become a new normal. Even in the face of adversity, some things never change: like needing to eat. Fortunately, one place in Mercer County comes to mind when thinking about a reliable spot to eat, The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK). Whilst COVID-19 has forced many businesses to close, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen has weathered the storm by adapting to these trying times to provide essentials to those in need.
As COVID-19 closed millions of businesses and changed the lives of billions of lives around the world, The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen has done its best to maintain a consistent meal schedule, serving thousands of patrons each week. While indoor dining was halted due to safety concerns, TASK has been able to provide almost 40,000 meals each month through packaged hot meals, prepared lunch and dinner, given out the front door of the facility.
In addition to the hot meals, the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen also has continued conducting social work help over the phone and has begun offering its beloved art and music programs again. In an interview with Jaime Parker of TASK, she shared that TASK’s focus is to “get everyone’s immediate needs met”. Now more than ever, it is the “perfect time for people to work towards their high school diploma” even despite the hardships at hand. And while “the digital divide is a big problem” for many patrons, TASK works to “close the gaps that exist” to this day. Individuals interested in receiving assistance from the case manager have been able to reach them over the phone and in the new tent patio at the TASK location to provide assistance to individuals who do not have cell phones with COVID-19 safety restrictions in mind. TASK has also been providing individuals with guidance on how to set up Zoom accounts for online interviews and even secure jobs with companies like “Amazon”. In addition, as the winter approaches, TASK is working with Homefront to create a warming tent for individuals who are looking for a place to stay when the months get colder.
Even despite the threat of a global pandemic, it seems that the staff at TASK have been able to develop a plan that would ensure maintaining optimal service for their patrons. Anyone interested in receiving meals or social work help should head to TASK at 72 Escher St, Trenton, NJ 08609. The effective plans deployed by TASK such as providing packaged food, offering social services over the phone, and working to hold art classes have displayed the dedication and adaptability of the staff at TASK in the face of COVID-19.
Here is a link to TASK’S Official COVID Response