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.
What Our Clients Are Saying
We continually look for ways to improve our programs and as part of that effort, we have been soliciting client feedback. Below are some of the responses we received.
“Thanks for the help. The pantry helps in the economy of home. We have a special kid at home and is hard to get a job because I have to take care of my son full time!”
(Spanish) “Gracias for su servicio. Muy Buena y agradable personal, muy amable.” “Thank you for your service. Very good and friendly the personnel very caring.”
“Before, I needed the help, I had a one-track mind about this kind of service, and it wasn’t a good thing. Since I have volunteered here and received help, I realize I was wrong. NSKS does not get enough recognition. Wonderful Place!”
“These people here are very courteous, helpful, and kind.” “Just want to say thank you for all volunteers and pantry for their tireless efforts to make sure I eat good. Bless you”
Your contributions and volunteer time make these statements possible. Thank you.
Join Us at Empty Bowls
You are invited to our 23rd annual Empty Bowls event! February 21st (snow day is 2/22) at Nashua High School South. This is a wonderful community event showcasing many of the talents of our youth including their handmade pottery bowls & the student jazz band. The National Art Honor Society student members organize the event & a silent auction in the foyer. Nearly 700 clay bowls are made by students and faculty of both Nashua High Schools along with community volunteers. A bowl is then chosen by those who attend the event and is filled with donated soups. Our wonderful volunteers for the evening include NAHS members from our North and South High Schools, the South Jazz Band, along with teachers, staff and community members who pick up the soup, bread, and numerous donations. Get your tickets before they sell out!
Last year, 61% of the families with children in our emergency shelters moved to permanent housing.
We have two families in our transitional housing program: a single mom with three children and a mom and a dad with two young children. All of them are working and in school.
NSKS Board of Directors
The NSKS is fortunate to have a wonderfully dedicated group of individuals who serve on our Board of Directors. A good Board is key to a healthy non-proﬁt organization and these are the folks who deal with the nitty gritty issues of non- proﬁt governance. Our 2018 Board members include: Brian Cullen, President; Mary Slocum, Vice President; June Lemen, Vice President; Ray Mello, Clerk; Krishna Mangipudi, Treasurer; John Fisher; Kathie Feltus; Dave Grebowski; Shoshanna Kelly; Linda Kipnes; Michael J. “Jerry” Ryan; Rick Ruo; Steven Harper and Michelle Wheeler.
Honoring Our Volunteers of The Month
October– Dennis Roy is our Gardener Extraordinaire! He’s been instrumental in the success of our gardens during the 2015, 2016 and 2017 growing seasons. We are grateful for all your hard work, dedication and the hundreds of pounds of produce you’ve planted, nurtured and picked for NSKS! It’ll be Spring soon! We look forward to this next planting season in your capable hands!
November– White Mountain IT Services has provided all our technology needs and computer systems for the day of our Dinner Auction for years! What a relief to have this group of professionals set up the systems, hardware & software –then disassemble and take everything away at the end of our fundraising evening! We are thankful for your continued commitment to this successful event!
December– We’ve had a very special elf helping us with our Christmas Adopt-A-Child program for the past several years- John Burkett, founder of “Let’s Put People On Bikes”, builds and/or checks every bike for safety and makes sure everything’s in working order before they find their new homes with the children receiving them. Thank you, John! You’ve made an important difference in the gift of a bike!
Please Give Generously
- Financial contributions – one dollar will help us purchase nearly six pounds of food
- Sponsors and participants for our 25th Annual NSKS Run/Walk for Food & Shelter
- Canned Protein – Tuna, Chicken, Turkey, Ham
- Jars of Peanut Butter
- Macaroni & Cheese (kid-friendly favorite!)
- Pasta- any type, any brand
- Cereal- any type, brand, or size, hot or cold
- Body Wash or Bars of Soap
- Toothbrush & toothpaste (ask your dentist for samples)
- Feminine Products- both pads and tampons needed
- Adult diapers and incontinence pads (we take open packages)
- Diapers – size 5 and 6 – any brand
25th Annual NSKS Run/Walk for FOOD & SHELTER Fundraiser
Sunday, April 8th will be our annual Run/Walk for Food & Shelter. There will be a 5K and 10K run, a 3K walk and a Kid’s sprint. This will be the 3rd year of the NSKS Corporate Team Challenge:
- A coveted rotating corporate cup for the company with the fastest 5K runners
- An award for the company that raises the most pledge money and
- An award for the company with the most participants across all events
Registration to Run or Walk is open. We welcome new sponsors at all levels. It is a great way to gain visibility for your business and make sure everyone has enough to eat. Check out our website for more details or contact Carol at 603-889-7770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAVE THE DATE
Saturday, November 3, 2018 is our 18th Annual Dinner Auction
Executive Directors Blog
One Year Later
Last year, I wrote to you about the privilege of joining NSKS and my initial impressions. One year later, I am pleased to be able to oﬀer my reflections and my thoughts going forward. Ideally, someone in her/his first year should spend time immersed in the organizational warp and weft, address pressing issues, and gather resources for the next innovation. I was fortunate to have time to do just that in 2017.
Warp and Weft
As an organization, we are doing a lot of things right. We are serving more than 2,000 breakfasts and 4,000 dinners a month. We provide shelter to 300-400 individuals and families. We provide a week’s worth of food to 1,000 families a month. We help at the moments when poverty can be especially painful, during birthdays, holidays, and when the kids go back to school. Just as important, we provide ways for families across the area to volunteer and connect, reminding us that we, as a nation, are strongest when we support each other. I am proud of my small effort as a part of the effort that knits together a community to provide a fabric that holds us all.
Addressing Pressing Issues
With any organization, there are always areas which have a lower priority. In our effort to provide exceptional programs, information technology generally took a back seat. With help from a $20,000 grant from Intel, the efforts of many, especially Tom Chan, and support from a local office of Fidelity, we have upgraded our hardware, quadrupled the speed of our internet access, share files and a common calendar, and launched a data migration project to a single CRM. And we have done all of this while at the same time saving money. We have been busy. In addition to IT, we have invested in our infrastructure as the first Soup Kitchen in New England to include solar as source of energy. Equally as important from a staff perspective, we have developed a team of people to be the first lines answering the phones allowing case managers to work with people needing assistance and kitchen managers to make dinner.
Our pantry has been doing amazing work serving ten times more families a month than we did five years ago. Our kitchen is serving twice the number of meals in that same period of time. Nevertheless, we know that our pantry, open 11-2:45 on week days is not serving people who have to work a regular shift and that our kitchen is only serving 20-30 of the 4,000 students in Nashua Public Schools who receive free and reduced lunch daily. This year we partnered with the Main St. United Methodist Church where their volunteers are coming in on the second Sunday to open the pantry as the MSUMC pantry and serve the people who only have time on the weekends. A more complex partnership involved Nashua Meals for Kids where we launched with five other organizations and the City of Nashua to provide three meals a day, seven days a week, during the summer of 2017 to one elementary school in Nashua. We have expanded to a second and three more schools by the end of the academic year. As of today, this effort has provided more than 13,000 meals, 2,000 lbs of fresh produce, and 3,360 bags of weekend groceries to the children of Nashua. When kids have enough to eat, they do better in school and have fewer health problems.
The collaboration with MSUMC is innovative as a partnership and allowing an existing resource to be used by multiple agencies. NashuaMealsforKids.org brings together new partnerships to help a previously underserved population. Each opens the door for expanded service. Of course, there are many other ways we can innovate in the social sector. Today, we just closed the final gift to reach our initial goal of $48,000 for a much needed innovation fund around food and health allowing NSKS to explore as an organization how we can help Nashua become a leader in the production, distribution, and consumption of healthy food.
It has been a wonderful year and I thank you so much for your support.
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