No one should be hungry or homeless in our community.
The Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization providing meals, emergency shelter, transitional housing, food baskets and advocacy to homeless and low-income men, women and families with children. The soup kitchen, at 2 Quincy Street, serves dinner seven days a week and breakfast five days a week.
Getting To Know Your NSKS Staff
NSKS is in the unique position of having staff that are not only amazing at their jobs but are truly passionate about the community they serve. We recently interviewed our staff on what they believed to be their most meaningful interactions while working with NSKS. We hope you enjoy. Please look forward to more employee interaction
in our next newsletter.
Juana Fields, Case Worker & Hispanic Advocate
Juana has been with NSKS for ten years (Happy tin anniversary to her) and has spent every moment within our organization advocating for our clients and providing them with services to find their way out of poverty.
Juana’s favorite part of her job is working with the families and children that come in on Tuesday nights. One of Juana’s favorite memories of her time at NSKS came after she returned from a week-long absence. The children from her Tuesday night visits had written “We missed you” cards and celebrated her return.
Juana also remembers a client coming to her door crying. She was from out of state, traveling with her two children, with nowhere to go. This client and her family were taken into our shelter. After years of work and perseverance, this former client is now a case worker here in Nashua, helping other people just like she had once needed help herself.
Donna Marceau, Education & Employment Advocate
“I directly help people get a pathway out of poverty. My work here provides assistance in helping clients find work and educational opportunities. My assistance includes helping people with job search skills such as resume writing, interviewing, getting and keeping a job once they get that job, dressing for success, cleaning up so that they look presentable. I also network with employers to see who is hiring. I seek out educational opportunities for our clients, and direct them to appropriate places so that they can gain marketable skills.” – Donna Marceau
Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter is about so much more than just food and a place to stay. NSKS provides our clients with the skills needed to thrive in their lives and provide for themselves. Help the clients of NSKS to help themselves.
Jordan Kelleher, Kitchen Supervisor
Jordan has been working at NSKS creating amazing meals for four years. Jordan is one of the many success stories here at NSKS as he used to be a client himself. “I went from being a client and needing a helping hand to becoming an employee and becoming that helping hand.” -Jordan Kelleher
NSKS has begun a Mobile Pantry, distributing fresh foods to Bronstein Apartments, Dr. Crisp Elementary and Davidson Landing. The program will continue to spread and new locations will be added as needed.
Anheuser-Busch & Nashua Meals For Kids
Thank you to the Biergarten at Anheuser-Busch -Merrimack, NH for our fantastic fundraiser on behalf of Nashua Meals for Kids. The event featured lawn games, beers on tap, a beautiful atmosphere and great company. The event grossed over $3,100 on behalf of the supplementary meal program, Nashua Meals for Kids. Those funds alone may provide over 1,600 meals. Thank you Anheuser-Busch!
Thank You Oracle
Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter has been Awarded an Oracle Grant for Hunger Relief and Emergency Shelter, part of Oracle’s Commitment to Advance Education, Protect the Environment, and Strengthen Communities.
NSKS was awarded a $20,000 grant that aims to provide freshly made meals, supplementary groceries, and emergency shelter for individuals in need in the Hillsborough County area.
Financial Year 2019 Statistics
- 25,332 breakfast meals served
- 28,063 visits for fresh fruits and vegetables and bread
- 51,365 dinner meals served
- 13,647 food baskets given to households
- 9,070 frozen Nashua Meals for Kids produced and distributed
- 4,254 bags of toiletries and personal care items distributed
- 11,403 nights of emergency shelter to, 325 homeless persons, 41 were children
- 44 families, including 26 children, received financial assistance to prevent homelessness
- 35,786 diapers distributed
- Clients took 200 showers and washed 549 loads of laundry
- 263 pounds of produce grown in NSKS garden beds
From January 1st – June 30th
- 262 clients were helped by our Employment & Education advocate
- 88 people gained employment
Executive Directors Blog
Growing up on the edge of the Pioneer River Valley, I developed a deep appreciation for various trees: Oaks with acorn caps providing a free musical instrument, Maples we would tap in the spring for syrup, and Hemlocks which I will argue are the perfect trees for climbing. While I may have been impressed by what was happening above the ground, it turns out what was happening below the ground was far more interesting.
Ed Yong writes in a recent issue of the Atlantic Monthly, “Underground, trees are intimately connected. The fungi on their roots can wire adjacent individuals to one another and ferry nutrients between them, creating what ecologists have come to call a “woodwide web.” The roots themselves can also graft directly onto one another… Researchers have suggested that these natural grafts stabilize the trees, or allow them to share resources during times of hardship.”
As I read the article, I thought about how profoundly my view of trees has changed. Rather than seeing a tree as an individual entity growing amongst equally autonomous flora and fauna and competing for resources, there is a complimentary, symbiotic relationship. They rely upon each other to the point that trees which have fallen will still have living stumps and flowing water. Recent studies suggest that trees with grafted roots have a better chance of survival in in stressed environments.
Now the NSKS newsletter might not be the first publication to which you turn to read about trees but think about the implications for the work we do. What is the kindness and support of our family and friends but the human equivalent of a shared root structure? What is the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter but a way for us to connect and support those individuals and families whose roots are no longer connected or whose resources have been depleted? Tomorrow morning, when you head out to work, to school, or to run errands, notice the trees and their connecting root systems and remember the part you play in supporting the most vulnerable and most at risk of our fellow human beings.
PS: In this issue, we are featuring some of the NSKS employees who help keep this system of support going on a daily basis. When you see them, please let them know how truly awesome they are!
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