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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

TASK

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult Education, Education, Food, Food Programs

Mission: The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) feeds those who are hungry in the Trenton area and offers programs to encourage self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life of its patrons.

Results: Last year, TASK served 195,000 meals to the truly needy. While our main facility is located in North Trenton, we also partner with churches and social service agencies to provide meal service from satellite locations in South Trenton, West Trenton, Hightstown, and Princeton. TASK serves over 4,000 meals each week. Our Adult Education Program (AEP) has about 100 students and seventy volunteer tutors. This past year, twenty-one students passed the GED test; nine are taking college courses, two have entered job training programs, four are now gainfully employed. Over the course of a year, more than half of our students improve reading and/or math by at least one grade level. TASK’s performing arts group, The SHARE Project, improves participant self-esteem and provides access to the performing arts. The group meets twice a week and performs live music and original poetry about thirty times a year at various venues throughout the area. The TASK Social Worker sees about 350 clients each month, making hundreds of referrals to help clients find employment, affordable housing, enter rehabilitation programs, and fill medical prescriptions. TASK's Thanksgiving and Holiday “Adopt A Family” programs assist approximately 100 families with children. Through our Patron Services, TASK distributed 2,600 hygiene kits (20 hygiene kits each day) including soap, shampoo, deodorant, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a washcloth. Due to high demand and low supply, each patron may receive a hygiene kit only once a month. Other programs that we provide include mail distribution, phone/fax machine usage, Internet access in our computer lab, Arts & Ideas Program, Holiday Gift Distribution, Patron Birthday Celebration, etc. For seven consecutive years, TASK has been awarded the highest 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for operating efficiently and for consistently executing its mission in a fiscally responsible way.

Target demographics: Those who come to TASK include the elderly, the addicted, the mentally ill, the physically challenged, veterans, recent immigrants, families with children,the working poor, and the newly unemployed. Our services are provided unconditionally.

Geographic areas served: Greater Mercer County, New Jersey

Programs: TASK serves lunch Monday - Friday and dinner Monday - Thursday from our main location on Escher Street. TASK also serves additional dinner Monday - Thursday from satellite locations in South Trenton, Thursdays from West Trenton, Mondays and Thursdays from satellite sites in Hightstown, and Wednesdays in Princeton. We serve approximately 4,000 meals each week. Our meal service is unconditional. The TASK Adult Education Program (AEP) offers one-on-one tutoring Monday - Friday from 9:00am - 11:00am, Monday - Thursday from 2:00pm - 4:00pm, or by appointment. The AEP offers training in basic literacy, basic skills, GED preparation, and computer skills. This program was established in 1992 and has helped hundreds of individuals improve basic skills, pass the GED test, enter job training programs, and obtain employment. TASK's performing arts program, The SHARE Project, aims to provide access to the Arts and to use the performing arts as a tool to improve the self-esteem of participants. The group meets Mondays for a jam session followed by an open mic and Thursdays to read, perform, and critique original creative writing. Other TASK services include a full-time, on-site Social Worker, Hygiene Kit Distribution, Special Holiday Programs for Children, Phone/Mail/Fax Machine Service, Arts & Ideas Program, and Patron Birthday Celebrations.

Community Stories

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Franklin R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I enjoy volunteering it is extremely rewarding . Everyone works together for a common goal and that is to help the community

1 Peggy55

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

For many years I donated massive amounts of new school supplies which TASK volunteers placed in backpacks for students. I was so disturbed at how supplies were divided, I quit donating cold turkey. Volunteers Just literally threw whole packages of several large erasers, scissors, etc., in ONE backpack, time after time, rather than separating the items for maximum effect and use. Quite upsetting.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

fundraising 10/01/2015

Hi Peggy, I'm very sorry that this happened and I have spoken with the appropriate staff members and we will monitor this more closely in the future. If you would like, I'd really like to hear talk and hear more about your experience. Please Contact me, J Steinhauer, Development Coordinator at 609 695 5456 ext 108.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The individuals working at TASK are dedicated to what they do, helping the communities overlooked members. Despite being a soup kitchen, they offer programs in self-enrichment, like a tutoring program to help people get GEDs, a music program, and an art program to provide an outlet for expression.

Volunteering here is a great experience overall. You can contribute in many ways.

1 Michael V.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The workers at this organization were really helpful with my future education, talent and volunteer work.
The tutors also were very helpful and on top of that breakfast is amazing as well as lunch. I obtain my GED/High School Diploma and made some good friends along the way. Thanks everyone for your support. Awesomeness! I would also like to thank "Richard" my tutor for long hours of work, we did it.
Thank everyone

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at TASK was such a great experience for me. I assisted with prepping and serving food for the community, and everyone I came in contact with was so appreciative and grateful. TASK taught me that volunteering is not a job, but an outlet to express and release love for your fellow man/woman. Without a doubt, I will show up at TASK as often as possible to help them with their goal of reaching out to as many people as possible.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TASK has always been my place of choice to volunteer my time and to donate items. Without fail, whenever I stopped by, the staff always greeted me with the utmost respect and in the friendliest manner. Any task that TASK needed my help with (helping with serving and cleaning), always made me feel like I received just as much love and appreciation as I and the organization provided to the community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Immediately walking into TASK, I felt blessed and honored to be part of this organization. Literally everyone greeted me with a smile and a "Thank You" for showing up to assist with their remarkable cause. In just one day TASK made such a positive impression on me that I personally vowed to volunteer on a scheduled basis. I can honestly say that volunteering at TASK feels more like getting together with family, for a great time, and not work at all.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TASK is a great place with amazing people. I will always volunteer with TASK, when time allows, because it starts with the employees. It is very apparent that each employee you come in contact with is dedicated to TASK and to helping their patrons become exceptional members of society. While tutoring at TASK, I met one gentleman who had a daughter the same age as me and it was through our experience he remembered that he needed to call her for her birthday the following week. This brief experience while tutoring was mutually beneficial because while I was helping him with math, he was helping me become an even more well-rounded person who really felt that I was making a difference in his life. Furthermore, the patrons at TASK are SO multi-talented. I am excited to see where this organization will be within the next few years. Keep up the Great WORK!

1 Megan67

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated several times to TASK and every time I drop off they are extremely friendly and appreciative. My husband and I "adopted" a family for the holidays last year and when we went to drop off the presents for the family that we chose, we were greeted by a very professional and friendly staff that gave us a tour of the facility and explained all of their programs. What they do there is wonderful and we look forward to many more years of donating!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

TASK is an amazing place! Our program has had the privilege of becoming one on their sites outside of the city of Trenton. The quality of the meals that they provide is outstanding--our clients look forward to lunch every day and for many of them it is their best meal of the day. The staff is very caring and professional. They have also shared donations with our clients ranging from hygiene kits to special deserts. Please consider supporting TASK!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with TASK as a tutor last summer and continue to come back as often as I can to help out in the school and with meals. TASK is an amazing organization full of amazing people, both staff and patrons. To express my appreciation after my experience last summer, I wrote a letter to Kelly, the director of the adult education program that I would like to share:

Dear Kelly,

I want to thank you for the amazing opportunity to be a tutor at TASK this summer. I have found the experience to be incredibly rewarding and only hope that I have given back half as much as I have gotten out of it. I am very impressed by all of the work that you do and think that the Adult Education Program is truly exceptional. Despite living in Pennington, before this summerI had only been to Trenton a handful of times in my life. However, through this experience, I feel that I have become a member of the community. The student are all so engaging, respectful and active learners and I am constantly stunned by all of the hard work that they put in. I really credit you so much for putting together such a strong program. I love the feeling of inclusive that there is in every session. Thank you again; I really admire everything that you are doing.

5 Eric58

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My name is eric and I was a homeless drug addict before going to task one day I walked in for a meal and ended up talking to someone about the ged program 3 months later I had my ged and was helping others study for their ged. Now I have my own apartment and a job. My family back in my life and I'm drug free for 13 months nowi owe task my life

Caralien S.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have donated cupcakes, pumpkins, hygiene products, and Christmas presents for a family of four.

All email & phone correspondence has been prompt & pleasant, while the staff & volunteers are always happy to help unload a trunk full of goods so that I wouldn't have to do it piecemeal while my own two children are waiting in the car!

Once my children are old enough, we will be volunteering at their meal service in town.

Compared to other organizations I've volunteered for, TASK doesn't flood your inbox with requests, the staff & volunteers are pleasant without prompting, and it feels like they actually appreciate your help, however large or small.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with task has been a great experience for me. I love the many personalities I work with and being able to help people in need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am in my fifth year as a volunteer GED tutor each weekday morning at TASK. I have found it to be a very gratifying and rewarding experience. it is truly a thrill when a student passes his or her GED, and even more so when they go on to learn a trade or enter college. The Adult Education staff is incredible and does a remarkable job. It is amazing to me how they are able to know all the students' names, their needed areas of study, and how to match them with the right tutor. I look forward to many more years of doing this, and would highly recommend it to others.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The volunteer coordinator needs to communicate better with outside volunteers looking to serve the community. However, once there, it runs like a well-oiled machine. The managers are a bit strict/ serious for my taste, but they are doing hard work so it's understandable.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

TASK is a great place with an awesome staff of people who help patrons achieve self-sufficiency. They not only provide patrons with hot meals every day, but they also provide a tutoring program where patrons are able to be tutored to get their GED's and pass other tests. It is truly a great organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have tutored adult students for their GED exam for more than three years as a volunteer. It has been a rewarding experience made the more so by the full time staff of TASK. Their ability to coordinate the activities of the ever changing student and volunteer populations has made the venture a remarkable success. The program coordinators have developed the ability to effectively match the right tutors with the students and their specific needs to provide a one on one experience that has led to ever increasing numbers of students that pass their GED exam.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first volunteered at TASK a few years ago during the Christmas holiday. It was amazing how busy and vibrant the environment was. It spoke true to the circumstances of our time, the status of our nation, and the situation of our local community. These were my neighbors, our neighbors, fellow citizens of this great country. It struck me hard how much help was needed in our state's capital. Poverty, hunger, and lack of quality health care to name a few, are factors that plague our nation on a daily basis. No feat is too large, and no contribution is too small when it comes to helping our fellow man. I am reminded of a quote that I heard a long time ago and has never left my side: "whoever said one person can't change the world, never tried". TASK provides an opportunity for change, a place for hope & advancement, and a reality check.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

tast is a organization that help like you was part of a family.i8