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A Return to Tradition
TASK Re-opens Our Newly Renovated Kitchen with a Return to Traditional Meal Service
For 14 weeks this spring, TASK embarked on a massive renovation project to modernize and optimize our kitchen. After two years of preparing and serving to-go style meals in response to COVID, and substantially increasing output to meet higher demand, TASK realized a major overhaul of our kitchen was required to keep up with the growing needs of the community. We added more equipment, improved lighting and plumbing, engineered a more efficient workspace and created a dedicated teaching kitchen for Emilio’s Culinary Academy, TASK’s workforce training program.
While the project presented the usual challenges associated with a large-scale renovation, the biggest obstacle was how TASK could continue to distribute roughly 8,000 meals per week to our Escher Street dining room and 35 other community meal sites while our kitchen was out of service.
Fortunately, TASK’s longtime collaborator, The Rescue Mission of Trenton, came to the rescue, offering TASK’s kitchen staff a space to work in exchange for meals.
On May 9, TASK proudly re-opened our kitchen and welcomed the kitchen crew back to Escher Street. In addition, TASK has returned to our traditional meal service model, serving plated, hot meals to patrons with the help of dozens of volunteers each day.
“The new kitchen is exciting, but we’re most excited to welcome our kitchen staff back on-site after so many weeks away. The kitchen is truly the heart of TASK’s operations. We’re not out of the pandemic yet, but we’re happy to see a return to our traditional meal service where everyone is working together to help build a safe, welcoming environment for our patrons,” said TASK Executive Director Joyce Campbell.
TASK’s kitchen crew echoed Campbell’s sentiments.
“We’re just happy to be back,” said Adam Livow, TASK’s Manager of Food Services and Head Chef. “The new equipment and layout are great but working together to help our community is what it’s really all about.”
But perhaps Cook Ron Brunson, who has worked at TASK for more than 13 years, summed it up best: “I’m excited. It’s like being home.