How You Can Start and Operate a Soup Kitchen

Mission Possible: How You Can Start and Operate a Soup Kitchen

About the Book

MISSION POSSIBLE'S primary purpose is to spur the development of new soup kitchens throughout the U.S., in order to help the millions of Americans in need of emergency food assistance. The book is useful to both new soup kitchens and existing soup kitchens that want to improve or expand their operation. It also can help nonprofits that operate food pantries, shelters or other social service facilities.

Mission Possible provides essential information on locating, managing, staffing, publicizing and funding a local soup kitchen. Further it offers practical insight on where to find food and how to serve the meal.

It is based primarily on the authors’ more than 35 years of on-the-ground experience with a soup kitchen in Trenton, New Jersey. Since 1982, the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) has grown from serving 55,000 meals annually at a single site to a multi-purpose agency serving 175,000 meals annually at four different sites. It also offers a variety of programs designed to encourage self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life of its clients. Its annual budget has grown from $40,000 to well-over $2,400,000 annually while earning ten consecutive four-star ratings from Charity Navigator.

For further information on TASK go to

Book Cover

The book is organized chronologically:

  1. Key start-up considerations
  2. Location and facility issues
  3. Marketing and public relations
  4. Food acquisition and safety concerns
  5. Financial planning and fundraising
  6. Staffing considerations