The Cathedral Kitchen serves those in need

The Cathedral Kitchen serves those in need

Photo courtesy of cathedralkitchen.org.

Ashley Cooper ('17)/ For Eastside

The acclaimed Cathedral Kitchen, located in Camden, has been serving those in need since 1976. The Cathedral Kitchen takes their responsibilities seriously, as a provider for the community. In 2012 alone, the soup kitchen served over 232,000 meals.

Those who visit the Cathedral Kitchen are among the poorest inhabitants of Camden. Thus, the visitors are often homeless, without a job, or simply poor working class people. Those who visit the soup kitchen range from infants to the elderly, as the Cathedral Kitchen’s main mission is to serve all of those in deprived conditions.

Although the Cathedral Kitchen has been open since 1976, the soup kitchen did not open its own facility until 2008. Since the opening of their own, individual facility, the Kitchen has recently expanded their meal program, in order to meet the growing demands from the hungry. The cookhouse currently offers family meal tables for families with young children, as well as meals for after school and summer youth programs.

At the Cathedral Kitchen, meals are prepared fresh each day by the kitchen staff. The staff uses both purchased and donated food. These meals are served Monday through Friday from 4:00-5:00 p.m. and Saturday 12:00-1:00 p.m. Each meal is made with nutritious and beneficial ingredients for the human body. Also, every meal at the cookhouse consists of a protein, a vegetable, a salad, a starch, a beverage and dessert. After each meal is served, the Kitchen provides a “take home” bag that contains additional donated food for its consumers.

When asked how she would describe the Cathedral Kitchen, Karen Talarico, the Executive Director, said, “We provide life-necessary meals to people in need.”

The Cathedral Kitchen also hosts a wide range of eager volunteers who come from diverse backgrounds, ages, communities and religions. At the Kitchen, a volunteer’s main duty is to help plate food and deliver the plates to tables. Also, volunteers may seat guests and clean up after the meal is finished. Youth who plan to volunteer at the facility must be at least 16 years old.

“The amount of volunteers we receive increases [during the holiday season],” said Talarico, “the demand for volunteers increases dramatically.”

The Cathedral Kitchen has truly been “serving those in need since 1976.” The Kitchen is so beneficial to the residents of Camden, and truly alters the course of many underprivileged lives.