I was employed at a major university in Camden and wanted to find a way to give back to the Camden community. I knew a little about the Cathedral Kitchen through the meals program that my wife would cook up, so I vounteered to help out. Before I knew it, I was on the Board, and what a rewarding experience. The CK has grown in so many ways in the past 10 years. We were challanged to get beyond the daily dinners. Well, we have done that in our new facility, now offering education courses in cooking, dental and medical services, social services and of course, great meals. The CK is good people doing great things. What a wonderful organization in such a severly depressed city.
As a volunteer and board member for six years, I have watched Cathedral Kitchen improve the lives of Camden's poor in many ways. Guests dine in a respectful atmosphere. They are served with dignity. They show gratitude. Through the medical and dental clinics their physical conditions are cared for. The culinary arts training program prepares over 50 students a year for jobs, and helps them find them. The CK social worker helps guests find housing and program placement. Cathedral Kitchen has become a beacon of hope in Camden.
I have been a volunteer at the Cathedral Soup Kitchen for 24 years and a Board member for the last six years. I have seen first hand how the mission of feeding the poor and needy in Camden, NJ is efficiently carried out each day in a manner that provides dignity and respect for those whom are served. I have also witnessed the growth of the Cathedral Kitchen's outreach whereby it has expanded to not only feeding the less fortunate but also addressing their more holistic needs including services for dental, medical, optical and job training needs. Specifically the Culinary Arts Training (CAT) Program has been hugely successful in training, graduating and placing men and women in the Food Service industry who previously were untrained and unemployed.