Dear Friends of MSK,
As we move into the new year, I wanted to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and anticipate what is to come for this amazing place in the future!
When I was blessed with the opportunity to become a small part of this mission in 2017, it was immediately clear there was enough love in this building to move mountains. The dedication of the volunteers and staff, support of donors, and enthusiasm from the community for the mission continues to be inspiring. I am honored to become a part of the family and not one to back down from a challenge.
The successful 30-year history of the Mooresville Soup Kitchen in this community is a testament to the mission-driven work of feeding and nourishing bodies and souls that has happened since its inception. It is the individual lives changed by the hot meals, groceries, referrals to jobs and safe housing, and hearts touched which speak the loudest about the important work that happens here each day.
As we move forward, we will always appreciate and respect the history of the Mooresville Soup Kitchen and those who worked tirelessly to create such a special gem in the community.
We will continue to offer our established programs and will strive to evaluate and improve upon them as needed. The following programs are currently offered at MSK:
- Hot Breakfast on Monday and Thursday mornings
- Hot Lunch Monday through Friday
- Laundry and Shower Facilities
- Grocery Line following Hot Lunch on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday
- Pantry every Wednesday afternoon in our building
- ESL class weekly
- Kitchen Connections (referrals and connections to community resources)
- Community based food markets at The Bridge, Watermark, Rocky Mount, and The Altar
This is already quite a list of support available to the 9,000 individuals in Mooresville eligible for our pantry! We know we can do more and reach additional families who need a hand up. As we look toward the future, it is bright with opportunity for our guests and volunteers! Our guests will continue to benefit from the hot meals, pantry, community resource connections, and love that is shown daily. They will also have new opportunities for growth by participating in innovative programs. Volunteers will continue to prepare meals, sort food, support the pantry, and a host of other daily essential tasks, but they will also have the option of getting involved in our new programs where they can form strong relationships with our guests and contribute to reducing generational poverty in innovative ways.
In 2018 MSK will launch 3 new programs:
- Fundamentals of Food Service- Formal 12 week culinary job skills training program led by our very own Chef Jim! This program will teach a small group of adults the essential skills they need to gain employment in a restaurant, hotel, grocery store, or other food service employer. MSK will also connect our graduates to employment, by forming partnerships with employers in the community who are excited to join hands in this endeavor. We already have several employer partners on board! We will have a need for many interested volunteers to become trainers in all aspects of food service, budgeting, management, resume writing, interviewing, etc.
- Cooking Matters- Structured cooking classes to groups in our kitchen with a focus on healthy and cost effective meals. We will offer classes to children, teens, and families. The Cooking Matters program is a national curriculum which will provide us with the proven lessons to teach each class. These classes will be taught by volunteers with a heart for cooking/teaching and will offer a great opportunity for guests to learn and grow as they strive to improve their knowledge about food, nutrition, and how to care for the food needs of their family.
- Food Movers- We are happy to announce we will begin delivering pantry food to our shut-in neighbors in March 2018. We have had many requests for assistance with delivering pantry food to those who are unable to leave their homes, have no transportation, or have no support system to help them get to pantry. Food Movers will be volunteers who are eager to deliver pantry food weekly to one or more shut-in neighbors. We are planning to get this program started in March of 2018 and are accepting referrals for shut-ins, as well as volunteer Food Movers who would like to help.
We are excited and determined to get rolling with these new endeavors! All three of our new programs will require a detailed application process from each guest who would like to participate and certain eligibility criteria. All of our programs will be free of charge to those in need. We will also be tracking our outcomes and celebrating the individual success stories of those who participate.
We are currently looking for referrals for guests who could benefit from these programs, volunteers who have a passion for helping others, and donors who believe in the impact they will make on families. If you are interested in getting involved, please let Judith Thomas know so we can begin this spring/summer. If you have any questions about our existing programs or the new programs, please contact Judith Thomas.
I am thankful God placed MSK on my journey and can’t wait for the first graduation ceremony of our first culinary participants! I am confident that this time next year, we will be rejoicing with a parent who has secured a job with her new skills and can now provide for her family.
Executive Director MSK