Soup Kitchen 411
Tax id (EIN)
AddressPO BOX 1698
BETHLEHEM, PA 18016
In 2015, friends Ken DeRoberts and Philip Gentile established the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Soup Kitchen 411, Inc. (SK411) to serve as a hub for anti-hunger advocates and raise awareness about the epidemic of food insecurity in America. Since then, our mission has been to alleviate the pervasive problem of food insecurity in the U.S. by raising awareness and connecting those in need to soup kitchens and other collective spaces where they can enjoy a hot meal.
As a platinum-rated nonprofit, SK411’s original purpose was to serve as a database of soup kitchens and other places where free meals are regularly served. The free online database at Soup Kitchen 411.com utilizes interactive maps and a geo-location tool to provide detailed information such as hours of operation and contact information for 250+ tri-state area meal distribution sites, including over 700 national soup kitchens and food pantries.
In April 2020, amidst the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, SK411 expanded beyond our original initiative, and launched what has become our flagship program, FeedNJ. FeedNJ is an antidote of the twin epidemics of increased food insecurity, and reduced business to local independent restaurants. We buy meals in large quantities from local restaurants and serve them for free at local soup kitchens and other food distribution centers. To date, the FeedNJ campaign has served over 450,000 meals purchased from over 80 local restaurants which have been served at over 50 soup kitchens and collective spaces for free. The food distribution spaces include traditional soup kitchens, churches, senior centers, after-school programs, community centers, harm reduction organizations, police stations, and firehouses across the state.
The two obvious beneficiaries are restaurants and people battling food insecurity, but with volunteer abilities limited, and increased client need, our program is an essential helping hand to the hard-working food distribution centers across New Jersey that we partner with. Days when we can supply their entire lunch, their staff can focus on meal prepping for future days, and assisting clients with related services (since many of our partners, including Lunch Break in Red Bank provide many services beyond food service.)
SK411 has been aware of the food insecurity epidemic since its creation, and unfortunately recognizes that this problem is still prevalent. In 2019, 9% of New Jersey residents were faced with food insecurity. This number has only increased since the unprecedented pandemic uprooted the lives of many Americans. FeedNJ serves as a support for local restaurants whose businesses have drastically changed due to COVID-19, and as a way of supporting individuals who have been forced to make the impossible decision of paying their bills or feeding their family.