Volunteer Opportunities - Mobile Soup Kitchen

The SS - Senator Walter J. Kavanaugh

The Senator is a long time friend and advocate of the working poor and hungry in our area.

SHIP’s Mobile Soup Kitchen - Disaster Unit, with the grace of God, has served over 55,000 meals to our guests.

The SS - P White Armstrong (in dry-dock)

Named in honor of a Past President of SHIP and currently serving as a Superior Court Judge in Somerset & Hunterdon Counties Drug Courts.

Now is a good time to join the Crew!

Openings on Friday evenings

As you can imagine the planning and coordination that’s needed to secure and keep the SHIP’s Mobile Soup Kitchens afloat are awesome. We need your help right now! Become a Mobile Soup Kitchen crew member! Volunteer or give as generously as you can. Your time and/or financial gift are put to immediate good use. Join forces with one of the counties largest grass root organizations, and help bring an end to this unnecessary suffering. By supporting SHIP’s Mobile Soup Kitchen, you will enable us to bring a message of hope to those in need in the pockets of poverty across the county.

SHIP purchased a new (2000) vehicle that serves as our Mobile Soup Kitchen - Disaster Unit. The vehicle serves as part of our ongoing effort to enhance and expand SHIP's and the Somerset County communities' capacity to reduce hunger. We bring needed emergency meals, commodities and services on a regular scheduled basis, to those unable to come to SHIP’s Galley or Drop-in-Center in Somerville . We provide tangible emergency relief, to identified high risk populations in our county. Due to regulatory cut backs we have seen a 22% increase in requests for emergency food and emergency meals since July 1997. Requests for emergency meals and food have steadily increased from children, women and men coming to the Mobile Soup Kitchen - Disaster Unit service priority target area feeding sites.

SHIP’s Mobile Soup Kitchen - Disaster Unit operates six days per week, Monday through Saturday. We estimate that a minimum of 25 to 100 people will be served each day. This number will increase as people are informed of the services available.

Volunteering can take as little as 1 to 2 hours of your time - travel included. Think about it.

 All Monday, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are taken by committed churches, Immaculata High School and individuals.

There are some openings on Friday evenings.

We have been blessed and were able to provided over 55,000 meals to people in need through our Emergency Food Programs during the year 2002, with no food budget. That’s correct. The vast majority of the food and meals provided is donated by community minded faith communities, organizations, businesses and individuals in our county area and beyond.

Meals are served to anyone in need in the Somerset County Region. Target communities include Franklin/Somerset, Bound Brook/South Bound Brook, and Manville. Sites are secured within these communities to be used as feeding sites.

Crews, consisting of two to three volunteers each, are trained by professionals and serve meals from the mobile unit. We have secured most of the salary needed to hire a full time paid driver for the vehicle.

The crews will serve or handout the prepared meals and/or food items and other commodities. Donated food items and other needed commodities (with the Grace of God) are being secured. SHIP’s supporting Faith Communities and others have, to date, been donating the needed food items and supplies.

Meals are served around 5:30 to 6:30 PM on days of operation. Crews should be at our feeding sites at around 5:20 to 5:30 to set up the Mobile Soup Kitchen and start their route for the evening. Crews help complete the break down process for the evening and by 6:45 the time of service is complete. The estimated time commitment is around 1 to 1 1/2 hours per evening. We will be as flexible as possible in establishing a regular volunteer schedule for the unit.

No other known agency provides a Mobile Soup Kitchen - Disaster Unit in Somerset County .

Feeding sites are: Monday Somerset Estates in the Somerset section of Franklin Twp.

Tuesday The South Bound Brook Reformed Church

Wednesday United Reformed Church in Somerville

Thursday Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Manville

Friday Somerset Estates in the Somerset section of Franklin Twp.

The typical meal usually includes:

You will be doing your Creator's work, touching the hearts and minds of many who might not otherwise witness our faith in action. We need people like you, who surely care about hungry among us. Please join us in making our mission to bring the needy a meal a reality. This project is well worth the effort and expense.


The vehicle is also available to assist Somerset County in times of disaster as in times of flooding and other emergencies in our county region. County officials and disaster officials in the region have approved and financially supported a small portion of the cost of operating the vehicles.

When the need arises we will issue an SOS. for volunteers for these special occasions.


During the aftermath of the World Trade disaster of 9-11, SHIP once again responded to the call for help from the Emergency Service Units Command Center at Ground Zero. We provided over 10,000 gourmet meals to the uniformed service workers. The Mobile Soup Kitchen - Disaster Unit visited the red zone in Ground Zero every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from October 2001 to mid January 2002. Police and Fire Departments from throughout Somerset County escorted the MSK and support vehicles, carrying volunteers to the site each time we served meals. Tom raised $75,000.00 and spent more to cover the cost of operations


During the aftermath of the recent Hurricane Floyd the Mobile Soup Kitchen – Disaster Unit responded to the call for emergency meals. SHIP’s staff and volunteer crews provided over 6,000 meals to the affected county residents who were displaced or unable to prepare meals because of the disaster. Staff and volunteer crews worked every day for the first fourteen days after the disaster struck.

Donations received totaled $11,606.94. Payments were made to 26 families or individuals affected by the disaster. The payments varied from a low of $250.00 to a high of $1,000.00. A total of over $11,606.94 was distributed to those in need of this emergency assistance.

More than 20,000 personal items and household items were distributed and over 1,000 pieces of new clothing were also distributed to those in need.

Other Volunteer Opportunities:

SHIP’s Galley - Anti-Hunger program
Mobile Soup Kitchen and Disaster Unit
Holiday Meals Program
Tic-Tocks Grove (Picnic Area)
Street Outreach Services
Safe Harbor - Office Help/Public Relations

Mobile Soup Kitchen - Volunteer Opportunities

SHIP's Mobile Soup Kitchen Video

<< Click the Icon to see SHIP’s Mobile Soup Kitchen at work.

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