For many years, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK), has worked to distribute Thanksgiving meals to hundreds of households through its “Thanksgiving at Home” program, funded generously by the Geltzer Family Foundation. In addition to a large Thanksgiving-themed grocery distribution in East Windsor and TASK’s traditional Thanksgiving meal service at its Escher Street dining room, the Thanksgiving at Home program helps TASK put an additional 300 Thanksgiving meals directly in the hands of Trenton residents.

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Volunteers at TASK help prepare Thanksgiving meals for members of the community.

“Every fall, we reach out to the community and every year they come through to help TASK provide Thanksgiving meals to our neighbors,” says Jaime Parker, TASK’s Director of Programs & Services. “While we offer a Thanksgiving meal at TASK, we know that those who can celebrate at home don’t always have the means to do so. The Thanksgiving at Home program makes it possible.”

Parker’s sentiments are even more apt this year. Nationwide, food relief agencies like TASK have reported a 30% increase in the number of people seeking assistance since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the double-whammy of unprecedented inflation and rising consumer costs, this Thanksgiving is widely expected to be the most expensive in the history of the holiday.

In addition to distributing Thanksgiving at Home baskets at its hub on Escher Street, TASK has once again partnered with Amazon this year to make deliveries directly to people’s homes.

“We began delivering baskets during COVID, and we found that it was a great way to ensure that we can reach as many people as possible,” says Parker. “But it was really tough on us. Planning the routes, coordinating the drop offs and making the deliveries ourselves was really hard, to say the least.”

Fortunately, for the second year in a row, TASK received an offer to help from Amazon’s Erin Hall. Amazon, who has worked with TASK for years as a donor and participant in TASK’s Work Preparedness program, is able to help TASK package and make the Thanksgiving deliveries.

“At Amazon, supporting the communities we call home is central to what we do every day,” says Hall. “With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Amazon volunteers are thrilled to support the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen by helping to distribute food to the families in our community who need it most.”

This Thursday, November 17, Amazon employees from around the Trenton area arrived at TASK to help pack Thanksgiving at Home baskets. Working alongside TASK staff, Amazon employees will help to load boxes into their trucks and make more than 100 deliveries to community members in Trenton.

One thing that has remained the same about the program is the financial support offered by David and Leslee Geltzer, longtime TASK volunteers and supporters, through their Geltzer Family Foundation. With their help, TASK is able to provide households with a turkey and all the trimmings, even including the roasting pan!

“Our partnership with the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen allows hundreds of families each year to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving celebration meal at home with family and friends. For the 17th year, we are proud to sponsor this important program,” say the Geltzers.

Upon receiving her Thanksgiving at Home basket last year, TASK patron Barbara was overjoyed. Noting that she now had a meal she could enjoy with family and friends, Barbara remarked, “I am so thankful to everyone” as she reflected on the power of community.

Says Joyce Campbell, TASK Executive Director, “The key to our success has been collaboration. On a day that’s all about tradition, TASK is thrilled to continue the tradition of our Thanksgiving at Home baskets with the help of the Geltzer Family Foundation and Amazon. This year, we are thankful to help the members of our community enjoy a very special holiday in the comfort of their own home.”

TASK, which has been serving the Mercer County region since 1982, serves meals six days a week in Trenton and at 33 other community meal sites throughout the area. In addition to providing hot and nutritious meals, TASK offers a multitude of resources to encourage self-sufficiency and improve quality of life including social services, its Adult Education and Work Preparedness program, enrichment opportunities in the creative arts, and the provision of basic necessities.

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