Dec 13, 2023
Author: taskweb

A Meal Can Change a Life

Inspirational TASK video offers a master class in resilience and hope

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The stars of TASK’s video, “A Meal Can Change a Life.” Clockwise from top: poet and painter Deb Kisela; award-winning artist and Capital City farm worker Walter Roberts; talented bass-player Todd Jackson; and top UPS employee Sharon Horne.

Ever wonder if your kindness really makes a difference?

“A Meal Can Change a Life” is a short, award-winning film that answers this question. It tells the story of four longtime friends of TASK, all of whom say the compassion and kinship they experienced at the soup kitchen gave them hope when they needed it most.

In heartfelt interviews, these four extraordinary people—and everyday heroes—tell how TASK helped them beat the odds against a range of challenges, including homelessness, addiction and unemployment.

Help for a Trenton Grandmother

“Being homeless was scary, saddening and disheartening,” recalls Deb Kisela, who was forced to abandon an apartment that had become uninhabitable due to toxic mold. After finding refuge in a local shelter for herself and her two developmentally disabled grandsons, Kisela learned about the soup kitchen.

“TASK changed my life. I first came here for a meal in 2008. All these years later, I’ve taken part in many of the programs they offer,” says Kisela.

A respected member of the local arts scene, Kisela has published three poetry books with TASK’s help, in addition to creating many lovely paintings. Over the years, her belief in herself has grown: “TASK has been a blessing to me. The soup kitchen gave me a lot of self-esteem.”

An ‘Oasis’ for So Many

Walter Roberts is another gifted artist who credits TASK with helping him find a way out of darkness.

“I first came to TASK in 1999. I was homeless at the time. I used to sleep outside, underneath a tree. I was going to have a meal and I was very depressed. Then a lady named Susan Darley walked up and asked if I wanted to do art.”

“I started doing art and it made me feel good about myself. It gave me a reason to live,” recalls Roberts, whose award-winning paintings and sculptures have been exhibited and sold at art venues across the Mercer County area.

Roberts says the boost he got from TASK encouraged him to reach out for other opportunities. He now has an apartment and has enjoyed long-term employment at Capital City Farm next door. These days, Roberts remains an inspiration and role model for other patrons. He stays grateful for all the soup kitchen does for the Trenton community.

“TASK is a place where people can take a rest, instead of just wandering the streets,” insists Roberts. “TASK gives people something positive to do, provides them with a purpose: ways to get their GED; ways to get their license; ways to be able to eat food, get clothing, find housing. For some people, if it wasn’t for TASK they would either be dead, shot or in jail. TASK has saved a lot of people’s lives.”

Tag: Adult Education - creative arts program - food insecurity - Meal Service - Patron Services - Success Stories - TASK - Date Posted: Dec 13, 2023 - Author: taskweb