How You Can Start and Operate a Soup Kitchen

Bridging the gap between homelessness and hope one family at a time

Peter Wise

Peter Wise has been addressing the issue of hunger in the Trenton, New Jersey region for over 25 years, first as a volunteer at various weekend soup kitchens and then as Executive Director from 1998 to 2007of the weekday Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK). Under his leadership, TASK experienced dramatic increases in numbers of meals served, in social support services offered, in adult education and computer training and in greatly expanded fundraising capacity and significant improvements in nonprofit governance. During the time period he led TASK, over 1 million meals were served to the hungry residents of Trenton. Prior to his work at TASK he had a 36-year career in aerospace at RCA/GE in Princeton, New Jersey, concentrating on the design, testing and launch of weather, communication and scientific satellites.

He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a past member of the AIAA National Thermophysics Committee and the Institute of Environmental Sciences (IES). He has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Mercer County Community College. He is the author of many technical publications on spacecraft design and analysis. In 2007 he was named Citizen of the Year by the Mercer County, New Jersey Professional Engineers Society.

In the civic and social service sector, he has been active in the Trenton-based Loaves & Fishes soup kitchen, Families in Transition, a Trenton transitional housing project, the Trenton Nonprofit Leaders Coalition, the Leadership Trenton Project, the Cranbury Zoning Board, Cranbury Historical Society, and Cranbury Affordable Housing. He also serves by appointment on the New Jersey Governor’s Hunger Prevention Advisory Committee (HPAC). In 2010 he was granted the Community Service Award from the Trenton, New Jersey Branch of the NAACP for his work in the social service sector. He is a frequent speaker to regional groups on issues of poverty and governmental budget priorities.

Peter received his BS in Mathematics and Physics from Ursinus College. He performed post graduate work in Physics at Rutgers University and in Mechanical Engineering at Drexel University. He is the father of three and grandfather of four and resides with his wife, Kathleen, in Cranbury, New Jersey.