Spotlight: Trenton Area Soup Kitchen

Meals and more

People often come to TASK because they are hungry, but they keep coming back because TASK’s holistic approach – with programs like adult education, case management, job search assistance and creative arts classes – gives them a jumpstart on the path to self-sufficiency.

Efraín Calvente first came to TASK in 2007 for a meal. Back then, Calvente, a recovering addict, had just left a toxic relationship and was fearful he would relapse.

He left his home and entered a local shelter. Each day he’d come to TASK for a meal, which is where he met TASK Patron Services Specialist Evie Spadafora.

Calvente told her that he needed an apartment. That conversation changed Calvente’s life.

Spadafora helped him find a nearby apartment. A TASK case manager helped him apply for the housing and get a copy of his birth certificate, which also enabled him to find employment.

Now, Calvente has a job cleaning his apartment building and another in Trenton. Calvente also paints, remodels, repairs, cleans, and prepares vacated apartments for inspectors.

On weekdays, he walks to TASK during his breaks and takes a meal or salad to-go. He also participates in the music program.

“TASK has helped me so much,” Calvente says.

“While food is at the core of what we do, it is our responsibility to address its root causes, including poverty,” says Joyce E. Campbell, TASK’s CEO. “Our patrons need a one-stop social service center that can address all of their needs and help them navigate their way to self-sufficiency. TASK does all this, and we do it in a dignified environment.”

Founded in 1982, TASK now serves 10,000 meals a week at its Escher Street dining room and across the Trenton area, including Lower Bucks County. This Hunger Action Month, learn more about how you can help at

PHOTO CAP: Efraín Calvente enjoys a meal at TASK earlier this summer.

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