Q & A with Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter
Non-Profit Spotlight on the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter
A history of providing food, emergency shelter, housing, and advocacy.
As I assembled this spotlight on the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter (NSKS), I began by diving into their website. If you’re unfamiliar with their non-profit organization, I recommend visiting the “About NSKS” page. You’ll find a timeline of their history that’s truly impressive, and equally interesting. In fact, even if you’re already familiar with the NSKS I’d still recommend checking that out.
They’re an incredible organization, and they’ve been an incredible organization since 1981. Today, the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter provides services and support that meet the immediate needs of our neighbors in crisis. They provide food, shelter, financial resources, employment guidance, and this list seems to grow every year.
Their work is the stuff that takes a seemingly impossible situation, and makes it manageable again; Helping men, women, and children in our city who are at risk of getting caught in a cycle of homelessness and poverty.
I also had the pleasure of gaining insight from Carol Weeks, Director of Communications, Events & Volunteers, for this spotlight. In the Q&A below you’ll learn about opportunities to support the work of the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter, and more.
Q: What has been your organization’s biggest achievement in the past year?
A: During the past year, with COVID rampant and people staying home, the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter has been able to expand services to meet the needs of our community. We are currently picking up orders 3 times a week from New Hampshire Food Bank. We were going only once a week. Our produce orders are 150% more than before COVID-19.
We have added 8 mobile pantries to try and bring fresh produce to those who can’t come to us. From January to December 2020, we distributed more than 155 tons of food through our Food Pantry and these mobile sites around our city. We are grateful to the Nashua YMCA for picking up the produce at our Soup Kitchen and bringing it to the designated sites. We thank the United Way of Greater Nashua for coordinating volunteers at each site to distribute items during this pandemic to those in need. And we are humbled by our staff, who keep coming in every day to provide food and shelter to vulnerable individuals and families in the Greater Nashua Region in a dignified and sustainable manner.
Q: Can you share something about your organization or its leaders that the general public might not know?
A: Did you know that the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter rarely serves soup?
We serve nutritious, hearty, hot meals every day of the year. From January to December last year, we served 17,755 Breakfasts from Monday through Friday, and 45,413 Dinners from Monday through Sunday. When COVID shut things down in March, staff were able to prepare To Go boxes, distributed at the door, so our most vulnerable population could still get hot meals. We continue to serve meals every day, with COVID guidelines in place for the safety of all.
Q: What’s your favorite motivational quote?
A: “At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in.’
Hungry not only for bread — but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing — but naked for human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks — but homeless because of rejection.”
– Mother Teresa.
Q: What fundraising efforts, volunteer opportunities, or 2021 initiatives would you to share?
A: Our NSKS Annual Run/Walk for Food & Shelter should be taking place at the being of April. It is the second biggest fundraiser we hold which raises funds for the programs and services we provide. Because of safety concerns still surrounding COVID and not everyone is eligible for vaccinations yet, we have made the difficult decision to cancel it this year. It was also cancelled in 2020. We are trying to be creative and set up a donation page where folks can donate what it would have cost them to register for the Run/Walk. There’s even an opportunity to donate at a sponsorship level. Here’s the link: 2021 Run/Walk for Food & Shelter Donation Page
Quick Links For The Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter