Planet Princeton

$75K from Anonymous Princeton Donor Helps Trenton Soup Kitchen Reach Its Fundraising Goal

Cenlar employees served more than 250 meals at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen earlier this month. The agency depends on volunteers and donations to help serve the needy.
Cenlar employees served more than 250 meals at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen earlier this month. The agency depends on volunteers and donations to help serve the needy.

The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen has exceeded its endowment campaign goal thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.

A donor made an anonymous $75,000 donation to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen through the Princeton Area Community Foundation.

With the gift, the soup kitchen’s `Keeping the Bowl Full Endowment Campaign’ has exceeded its original $2 million goal.

“Thanks to the generosity of so many, we are proud to announce that the campaign has now accumulated $2,013,326,” said Mara Connolly Taft, who co-chaired the endowment campaign with her husband, Pete Taft.

“The mystery donor’s gift was the largest that has been made to the campaign. We wish there were a way to officially thank him or her for such generosity,” Taft said.

In April of 2010, the soup kitchen  launched its first-ever endowment campaign with the goal of raising $2 million by the end of 2012, the soup kitchen’s thirtieth anniversary year.

A number of people had advised the board of the soup kitchen against launching such an endowment campaign so soon after the official end of the great recession. But the leadership of the soup kitchen decided to move forward because of the dramatic increase in newly unemployed people turning to the soup kitchen for help  in the aftermath of the economic downturn. During the campaign the average monthly meal count at the soup kitchen has increased by 23 percent.

“It is extremely gratifying that in these very difficult economic times so many individuals, corporations and foundations as well as 100 percent of the board and staff made contributions to the endowment campaign. .It is a tribute to the esteem our community at-large has for the work of the soup kitchen,” Pete Taft said.

Annually, the soup kitchen raises most of its operating funds. It receives less than 4 percent of its funds from government.The Keeping the Bowl Full endowment fund will serve as a permanent savings account toward the soup kitchen’s long-term security by creating a cushion against short-term fundraising declines. It will also provide supplemental funds for new program initiatives.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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