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Who We Are

Cornerstone Community kitchen is an all volunteer, non-denominational non-profit. There are no paid staff, so 100% of all donations go to support our mission of sharing a free, nutritious meal in a safe and hospitable setting.

Beginning on June 6, 2012 CCK served its first meal. Described by our supporters as “a soup kitchen that looks and feels like an upscale restaurant”, attendance has grown from fourteen people the first night to an average of more than 80 guests each Wednesday night.

Guests attend our program for a myriad of reasons: the free, nutritious meal of course, conversation with other guests, or just a night when they can enjoy a restaurant-like experience.

CCK is not the typical free-meal operation.  Guests sit at communal tables with tablecloths and centerpieces; live piano music fills the dining room. There is no food line to stand in; meals are served by volunteers from throughout the community, delivered to guests on china plates with a smile and friendly greeting. Take-out meals are available to each guest thereby further extending our impact on reducing hunger for another day.

We have expanded the original intent of offering just a free meal to include several other services:

  • Guests have the opportunity to shop at our free "clothing store" that receives donations from throughout the community.

  • A free grocery store with fresh fruits and vegetables donated from local farms is available. Canned goods and packaged food from local stores are also available, as well as restaurant style take home meals.

  • Several free English as a second language (ESL) classes are offered for interested guests. Currently more than 15 students are active in our ESL classes.

We hope to be able to offer even more free services as resources allow, and based on our guests' needs. 

The profile of our guests is complex and represents a wide range of needs. There are working families who attend to stretch out their food budget. Some guests have special needs. Many are low income and with children. Seniors who live alone and want some lively conversation will also find it at CCK. Others just want to “have a night out”.  Regardless of our guests' circumstances, CCK aims to provide a sense of community and caring.

Current Princeton Mayor Mark Freda describes us as "a great example of how a community comes together to provide needed services to others with respect and dignity.", and, "an opportunity for meaningful engagement for everyone involved. CCK is an organization that I enjoy supporting."
 

We were also recognized by Former Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert and Town Council for our “outstanding contributions to the Princeton community”, specifically noting, “you have truly made a difference in Princeton”. 

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