Trenton soup kitchen serves more than hot meal on holiday

TRENTON, N.J. (WPVI) -- Beginning at 10:30 a.m., TASK - the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen - had a full house on Thursday.

Hundreds came for a free Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings.

"It means a hell of a lot if you haven't got any food or family. But this is a wonderful feeling to be around people sharing food together," said Kevin Griffin of Trenton, New Jersey.

Erica Lewis lost her job and is staying at a shelter with her 1-and-a-half-year-old Sergio.

"I figured I could bring my son and his dad would be able to come, and we could sit together and have a nice meal," said Lewis. "To be able to come somewhere where they actually have cranberries, the stuffing, it's like amazing."

"We all have difficulty, ups and downs, in the walk of life. And I'm here today just grateful for the food that we have," said Kareem Williams.

Much of the meal and the decorations come from school children and adults as part of a community project in nearby Pennington.

On Thanksgiving, patrons don't stand in line to get food. Instead, dozens of volunteers serve them at the table.

The people in attendance included the homeless, some with drug or mental issues and the working poor.

"There's only about 20 percent of our people are actually homeless, and the rest of the folks have places to live. Most of them even have income," said Dennis Micai, TASK Executive Director. "They just don't have enough to meet all their needs."

Since it started 33 years ago, the need for the Soup Kitchen has only increased. Right now TASK serves more than a quarter of a million meals each year.

"If I'm down and out, have no money, I'm kind of desperate, I know I can come here," said Andrew Nelson.

Everyone leaves with another hot meal and a sandwich all packed up. And even though life can be tough, the folks here are grateful for what they do have.

"Thankful to be here, that's the main thing. Thankful to be here, and be able to eat a meal," said Orlando Johnson.

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