Soup and Ceramics Raise Record Funds for Trenton Area Soup Kitchen


West Windsor, N.J. – After a successful first run at fundraising last year, Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) Hospitality and Visual Arts clubs reunited last month in support of the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK).

Months of preparation went into the fundraiser that would end up raising a record-setting $550.

“The Art Club started working on this project in September,” said Visual Arts Teaching Assistant Kerri O’Neill. “Over the course of three months, the students created cups and bowls in their spare time to donate to the fundraiser. It’s a really fun project for them, especially knowing that their pottery is going towards a great cause and a new home.”

The campaign began last year as the brainchild of student Anna Kaster. After leaving Mercer to illness in 2011, she returned in 2017 inspired to make a difference.

“I want to do anything I can to give back to the place that gave me myself back,” Kaster said last year. “And, I want the community to understand the talent of the artists who pass through this college. It is really quite amazing.”

O’Neill added that this year the students sold nearly 90 bowls and mugs, which were filled with one of the hospitality club’s specialties. This year, the offerings included a plant-based butternut squash with House-made vegetable stock and a house-made chicken “bone broth” with chicken kreplach (chicken dumplings).

O’Neill added, “We’re getting the opportunity to collaborate within our own Mercer community.”

“It gives the students, faculty, and staff the chance to taste what the Hospitality Club has cooked up and a unique piece of pottery to take home with them. It really is the perfect fundraiser!”

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task supporter holds bowl

 A TASK supporter shows off her bowl at the fundraiser in December.

Frank Benowitz serves soup

Chef Instructor Frank Benowitz serves soup at the TASK Fundraiser.