.

First Lady Names Morristown Soup Kitchen Volunteer 'NJ Hero'

Alan Weinstein honored by Mary Pat Christie after helping prepare daily meal.

First Lady Mary Pat Christie helps out in the Community Soup Kitchen of Morristown before presenting a volunteer with an NJ Hero award.
First Lady Mary Pat Christie helps out in the Community Soup Kitchen of Morristown before presenting a volunteer with an NJ Hero award.


New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie is at home inside the commercial grade kitchen as she is in her own home and as she helped prepare the afternoon meal for the Community Soup Kitchen in Morristown, she managed to multi-task effortlessly between bantering with Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty (see video attached to this post) and speaking seriously to honor a volunteer at the soup kitchen. 

Christie's visit was to honor Alan Weinstein as her 24th New Jersey Hero for his role assisting the Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center in Morristown. Specifically, Weinstein was commended for his commitment to fighting hunger in the local community. Weinstein, a Mendham resident who lives "around the corner" from the Christies, developed the agency’s Kitchen to Kitchen program, an initiative that helps provide 60 percent of the food served at the Soup Kitchen.

Health inspection regulations had jeopardized the soup kitchen by restricting donations of perishable products from a non-licensed commercial kitchen. Weinstein had just retired after 30-years at the Park Savoy and leveraged his three decades of industry connections to gain donations from local restaurants.

“Through the Kitchen to Kitchen program, local restaurants, caterers, and hotels partner with The Community Soup Kitchen to generously share our most basic commodity, food, with those in need,” said Alan Weinstein. “Since the program was started two years ago, we have seen the number of food providers grow to include over 40 establishments. This growth is a testament to how committed our local businesses are to the community.”

As part of the honor, Christie gave Weinstein a pin, a basket of goodies and a $7500 donation check. 

"Also, all of our NJ Heroes qualify now for a chance to win a $100,000 grant," Christie said, noting that she hoped the funds would allow Weinstein to continue his good work. 

Weinstein said what mattered to him, was that the soup kitchen combats hunger, without limitations on. All who are hungry can come eat. 

"We live in the wealthiest country in the world and we still have hunger," Weinstein said. "The Community Soup Kitchen feeds all, seven days a week over and has for over 10,000 consecutive days and still counting."

The Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center provides nutritious meals in a warm, safe and caring environment, free of charge to those in need. The Soup Kitchen served more than 54,000 meals in 2012 and provided more than 60 tons of food for their guests to take home.

“Through the Kitchen to Kitchen program, local restaurants, caterers, and hotels partner with The Community Soup Kitchen to generously share our most basic commodity, food, with those in need,” said Alan Weinstein. “Since the program was started two years ago, we have seen the number of food providers grow to include over 40 establishments. This growth is a testament to how committed our local businesses are to the community.”

For his part, Dougherty said he was pleased to see such a large turnout and pleased to see the First Lady in town. 

"It was a commitment from our First Lady to present this honor here, Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty said. "And the soup kitchen does a wonderful job. I am pleased to be here to support the First Lady and the community soup kitchen."

New Jersey Heroes is an initiative of Christie’s that showcases the positive and unique ways people and organizations are impacting New Jersey and their communities. Christie said the goal is to keep growing and expanding as they recognize, celebrate, and promote the Heroes of New Jersey who inspire fellow New Jerseyans to give back to their community.

New Jersey Heroes recognizes about eight Heroes every calendar year. Unlike many other non-profit organizations, NJH does not directly serve a specific community need, but rather recognizes and celebrates the work done by individuals and non-profit organizations in New Jersey. Christie said that there is a nomination process to become an NJ Hero and while they have had honorees from Morris County before, she wasn't hedging any bets on future honorees. 

"Oh no, I don't give out those secrets," Christie said. 

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something