Cathedral Kitchen is the largest emergency food provider in Camden, NJ, serving more than 100,000 meals a year!
What We Do
We provide nutritious meals for impoverished residents of Camden
All CK staff are ServSafe certified (a national food safety and sanitation certification) to ensure the safety of our dinner guests.
- We serve dinner Monday through Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 PM and lunch on Saturdays from 12:00 to 1:00 PM.
- Food served at CK is cooked on the premises, plated and served at the table; there is no “soup line”.
- The hot meal consists of an entrée, a vegetable or salad, a side dish and a beverage.
- We also provide meals for local after school programs, groceries for low-income senior centers, and send donated food to local pantries, churches and soup kitchens that also serve our client population.
- In 2016 CK provided over 100,000 meals.
We provide Job Training
Happy graduates are part of the 245 individuals who have graduated from CK’s job training programs.
- The Culinary Arts Training Program and the Baking Arts Training Program operate concurrently for 17 weeks, twice per year. The two programs enroll approximatly 60 students per year. Both programs include classroom instruction in culinary/baking arts, plus ServSafe certification training, like skills, financial literacy and interviewing skills training. Graduates are assisted with job placement and over 80 percent of graduates find employment during the first three months following graduation.
CK Cafe opened its doors in May, 2015.
- In 2015 CK launched two social enterprise initiatives: a contract meal program serving local shelters and halfway houses and the CK Café, open for lunch and private parties. Along with an existing catering program, our social enterprises provide income for CK’s human services programs.
Dental team with a patient.
- Our Case Manager assists our dinner guests and students with a variety of needs and provides referrals to other agencies that can help.
- Dental care services including cleanings, fillings, extractions and dentures are provided in our on-site health suite. Since 2010, CK’s Project Smiles has been providing dental treatment to low-income residents of Camden, Pennsauken and Gloucester City, NJ who have no dental insurance, and are unable to afford the cost.
- On-site general health care screenings are provided in partnership with Project H.O.P.E.
Who We Serve
Guests enjoying a meal.
- Demographic make-up of our guests is: approximately 45% African-American, 25% Hispanic and 31% Caucasian or other.
- 82% of our dinner guests are residents of Camden.
- 30% have not completed high school or earned a GED. Men outnumber women by about 3 to 1.
- Children make up about 12% of the guests; the elderly 20%.
- Many guests are homeless; others are living on welfare or SSI/SSD; some are employed but do not make enough money to pay for food, especially at the end of the month.
- Most guests walk or ride bikes to the Kitchen; some come via public transportation.
- According to census statistics, 39% of Camden’s population lives below the federal poverty level—over a third of the residents!
How We Do It
Volunteers on hand to help serve meals.
- Hundreds of people, from different faiths and backgrounds and from across the South Jersey area volunteer their time and talents each year, filling more than 8,000 volunteer slots to serve the daily meal and help keep overhead costs down.
- We receive donated food from a variety of sources, estimated to be worth over $400,000 per year!
- CK’s job training programs are supported by corporate and private donations. Area restaurants and chefs are pivotal in our programs’ success: local chefs make guest teaching appearances in the culinary and baking arts classes, and restaurants provide internships and employment opportunities for our students and graduates.
- Approximately 26 percent of Cathedral Kitchen’s budget comes from individual donations. The remainder is comprised of government grants (8%), corporate funding (12%), private foundations (25%), social enterprise income (22%), and proceeds from our annual fund-raiser (7%), Harvest for Hunger, a wine tasting and live auction held in the fall.