A Conversation with Diana Groden of the Trenton Area Soup KitchenFebruary 6, 2018 | 11:06 am |
The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) has been fighting hunger in New Jersey’s capital for nearly 40 years. What started as a small group of volunteers serving six hungry people in a church basement has grown exponentially. TASK now serves more than 150,000 meals each year and also offers adult education, health care counseling, and a number of other outreach programs.
To learn more about the hunger in Trenton and gain a deeper understanding of this incredible and selfless organization, we spoke with Diana Groden, TASK’s Development & Community Relations Specialist. She was extremely polite and forthcoming about food insecurity in Trenton and shared her perspective on how TASK is able to help so many people in the community.
What inspired you to work for Trenton Area Soup Kitchen and in the non-profit industry?
Diana Groden: The need to spread the word. The skills that I can bring to the table and share the stories that need to be told. I work with words, and communication is my forte, so it is my pleasure to contribute to the cause by using my expertise.
What are some of the current struggles TASK is facing?
DG: The main struggle is the money and funding needed to run an organization and support a cause like this. Advocating and reaching out to the people in power can also be a struggle sometimes. Also, finding ways to reach people who are in need and making them aware of the services we offer.
Have you noticed an increase in people who need assistance this year?
DG: We don’t give out the number of people that come here, but I can certainly say that the number of meals served has increased by 20%.
What do you think is the most important thing people should know about hunger in our community?
DG: I would say that people should realize how big this issue is. Hunger exists in almost every community. We are based out of Trenton and 95% people who eat here also live in Trenton. Out of these, at least 70% of them eat all of their meals here. Having said that, we also see people from the areas like Princeton who are facing hunger as well. So this is an issue affecting more affluent communities, too.
What can the average person do to help?
DG: Helping people in need is really easy. There are so many ways to help, you can volunteer, donate or collect food. You can also donate some winter clothing for people in need. All you have to do is pick up a phone and reach out to us and we will guide you through. It is that simple.
Learn more about TASK.
Want to help fight hunger in your community? Hold a food drive with Move For Hunger!