On February 28th the St. Vincent de Paul Middletown Soup Kitchen hosted the first Soup Kitchen Summit that drew together staff and key volunteers from soup kitchens from around the state. Over 40 people came together and, for the first time, shared information, discussed best practices, brainstormed ways to collaborate, communicate and expand services to include key information about basic human needs. According to the Assistant Director for Community Services, Lydia Brewster, soup kitchens often are the locations most critical to pass on all kinds of information including how to access housing, health care and other basic needs. Staff from the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, who also attended the event, have committed to provide materials and information that will be made available to soup kitchens throughout the state to assist them in informing staff and volunteers and guests in their dining rooms.
The event was so well received that a second Summit is scheduled for May 23rd.