After over 27 years serving the greater Port Jefferson area, the leaders and volunteers of Port Jefferson’s Soup Kitchen are excited to announce their decision to become an independent Not-for-Profit corporation, named “Welcome Friends”. The operation has become self-sustaining with a solid foundation of local community support. As they enter this new and exciting phase, the new corporation, “Welcome Friends of Greater Port Jefferson” (dba “Welcome Friends”) will serve our neighbors in the same caring tradition that has been the hallmark of these soup kitchens for many decades.
The soup kitchens have provided hot nutritious meals five days every week; in fact, the volunteer staff has increased to more than 200 remarkable members; the guests typically number between 50 to sometimes more than 100 each night. Welcome Friends has developed its own fundraising and marketing to make our local community aware of our neighbors’ needs. The volunteers together form an outstanding team that addresses hunger in our Greater Port Jefferson community—and work to expand relationships with individual supporters, local food markets, farm stands, religious institutions, community leaders, local village government and other agencies.
Welcome Friends has independently met the challenge to become self-sustaining, building a stable base to ensure that our guests need not fear the loss of meals. Under the leadership of the executive committee and the coordinators our volunteers create a sense of community for neighbors affected by hunger and poverty by serving them with dignity and respect in a safe hospitable environment.
Ted Lucki, current President commented “Gratitude cannot be adequately expressed for the encouragement and support that the Port Jefferson area community has provided to help our less fortunate neighbors . . . Welcome Friends looks forward to continuing its mission as a newly independent entity, as we focus our energies on the needs of our guests in the Greater Port Jefferson Community.”