TASK’s second annual community meal event brings people together for a cause
Two volunteers work together to get ready for meal service; longtime volunteer Ernie Curran serves ice cream during the BBQ.
On Friday, September 15, TASK hosted our second annual community meal event to commemorate Hunger Action Month.
More than 550 patrons, volunteers and community partners stopped by Escher Street to enjoy delicious BBQ from the TASK kitchen, listen to live music from TASK’s house band, The FunkTASKtiks, and relax on a beautiful day under several tents at neighboring Capital City Farm.
An emotional Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli accepted TASK’s Advocate of the Year Award. TASK awarded our Volunteer of the Year Award to Maureen Clark for her exceptional volunteerism. In addition, TASK presented two Community Partner of the Year Awards to Dr. Nicole McGrath-Barnes of the KinderSmile Foundation, for her efforts to ensure access to dental care across our area, and to Chris Hillmann of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, for leading his department’s efforts to enhance the process to gain official identification for the people we serve.
During the month of September, hunger relief agencies around the country join together to raise awareness about food insecurity, which is surging across the United States.
Recent reports from Feeding America reveal the problem is acute and growing. Roughly 44 million people in the United States right now, in 100% of the counties across the nation, struggle daily with hunger. Currently, 1 in 11 people in New Jersey are food insecure, including more than 190,000 children across the State.
Today, TASK is serving 10,000 meals per week at its Escher Street dining room as well as 35 community meal sites across Greater Mercer County, including places where hunger is more hidden, like Princeton, NJ, and neighboring Bucks County, PA.
Organizations like TASK are needed now more than ever. Over the past year, we have seen a surge in the number of folks coming to us for food and hygiene products.
In addition to meal service, TASK also offers case management, adult education, job search, creative arts programs and the provision of basic necessities.
“The dark, cold days of winter only exacerbate the impact of hunger on our community,” says TASK CEO Joyce Campbell. “Hunger Action Month is a time to bring awareness not only to the serious consequences of food insecurity, but also a time to recognize how much we have been able to achieve together.”
She continues, “It’s comforting to know that TASK has the knowledge, the will and the community support to improve the lives of people in the Trenton area through the power of food.”