Sign up for our newsletters here!

Host a Fundraiser!

Have fun, and support your neighborhood Café!

What is a third-party fundraiser?

A program or event hosted by a community group, school, business, or individual, where all proceeds benefit Stone Soup Café.

What are some examples of third-party fundraisers?

Here are some creative ways you could fundraise for Stone Soup Café:

  • Birthday - Ask for donations instead of birthday gifts.
  • Yard sale - Ask friends and neighbors to clean out their basement or garage for a good cause.
  • Start a GoFundMe with your classroom - Buckland-Shelburne Elementary did just that!
  • Lemonade stand - Get the kiddos involved in supporting their community!
  • Trivia night - 50% to the winners, 50% to support Stone Soup.
  • Sell books - Places like the Montague Bookmill will buy good quality books.
  • Host a workshop or a class - Portrait Painting! Yoga class! Puppet making! You got the talent, share it!
  • Craft sale - The Center School hosted a ceramics sale and raised over $400!
  • Put on a show - Fire up your bagpipes or perform with your choral group.
  • Host a sporting event! - Follow the lead of Franklin County Pickleball! They raised over $1,000!

How can Stone Soup be involved in the fundraiser?

  1. Let us know about the fundraiser so we can help promote it.
  2. We can provide you with informational flyers and signage.
  3. People can donate directly to the Café by writing us a check, or set up a GoFundMe for the Café.
  4. Creating a ticketed event? We can help! Let us know.
  5. If you create a Facebook event, we will add it to our Facebook page to help spread awareness of your efforts.
  6. Let us know if you'd like us to cater, otherwise, we'll keep all the other details and logistics up to you.
  7. Make sure to send us some photos after the event!

If you have any questions or want to brainstorm ideas, please contact info@thestonesoupcafe.org.

Thank you for finding creative ways to support our mission.

Our third Culinary School cohort nears graduation!

As our students approach graduation, we reflect on all the wonderful guest chefs who enhanced the culinary curriculum throughout the 12 weeks.

Chef instructors Michael Hulburt and Brandon Shantie, who offered daily doses of talent and knowledge, were joined by guest chefs Michael Phillips of Savory Soul to share expertise in food trucks and seafood, Chris Carpenter from The People's Pint to demonstrate sausage making, and JD Hairston to explore the wonders of pork belly kimchi tacos.

These guest chefs and our partner restaurants Hope & Olive, People's Pint, Mesa Verde, and Greenfields Market brought a depth of hands-on learning that is invaluable to students as they leave the program and enter the workforce.

The 12 weeks of learning, cooking, and eating are coming to an end. We are so grateful for all the community members who stepped up to make this program a successful. Thank you.

5 Questions for Stone Soup

Hear a 7-Minute interview with Kirsten & Ashley!

A few months ago, the Café's Executive Director Kirsten Levitt and Grant Writer Ashley Kramer were interviewed on WHMP's radio show "Panorama."

We've synthesized our favorite 7-minutes! Hear Kirsten and Ashley answer the following questions

  1. Why is the Café not a "soup kitchen"?

  2. How does the classic "Stone Soup" story integrate into the work?

  3. What does it cost to run a Pay-What-You-Can Café?

  4. Tell us about the Culinary Institute!

  5. What's next for Stone Soup?!

LISTEN NOW!

Culinary School is Back!

For the third year in a row, Stone Soup Culinary Institute is welcoming a new cohort of students to learn the fundamentals of cooking, gain on-the-job kitchen experience, and earn their ServSafe Manager and Food Handler certificates!

Almost 50 people applied to the Institute, and we are thrilled to welcome eight into this year's cohort.

The 12-week program is led by a dedicated duo of Chef Instructors.

Brandon Shantie has worked in all aspects of the restaurant industry from Tex-Mex to Bistro, fast food to fine dining. This is his third year as an instructor at the Culinary Institute. High-volume high-quality food was his specialty, but he is now more interested in the convergence of food and human justice work.

Michael Hulburt is new to Stone Soup, but he has worked in the food service industry for over twenty years. In addition to conventional restaurant kitchen work, he has managed food systems for boarding schools, summer camps, and theater companies. He is inspired by native and traditional cooking techniques, and exploring the relationship between historical food and foraging practices.

The students are in good hands!

Culinary School Graduation!

Congrats Grads!

Congratulations to the graduating students

of Stone Soup Culinary Institute!

Kirsten Levitt and David Levitt

Left to right: Christina, Scott, Chef Instructor Aimee, Chef Instructor Brandon, Dan, Wiley, and Marie!

?

We're so proud of the five students who successfully completed their 12-week coursework at the Stone Soup Culinary Institute.

Students gathered with their families and friends this week at Hope and Olive to celebrate their graduation. Certificates were awarded, parting gifts were shared, and thanks were extended to all the people who supported students and teachers over these past few months.

The students showcased their incredible culinary talents and collaborative efforts with a stunning Capstone Luncheon last week (see the pictures below!).

We will miss seeing the students Dan, Christina, Wiley, Marie, and Scott at the Café every week. We wish them all the best in all the places they go from here. We hope they will stay connected as volunteers and guests at the Café.

"The Culinary Institute has been a light in my life for the past twelve weeks. Working with Brandon brought joy to each day. The cohort was an incredible group of students that really dug-in, bringing a great balance of fun and seriousness to the glorious local ingredients we used to cook with each week. It was a beautiful time of growth for all of us." ~ Chef Instructor Aimee Francaes

"This program was an uplifting, rewarding experience with wonderful people and food... one of the highlights of my life! So glad I could be a part of the food community and hope to continue to." ~ Scott R Jackman, Culinary School Graduate

"My experience was amazing. It was far more challenging than I had anticipated and, for that reason, all the more rewarding. I enjoyed the routine of the day-to-day work and the communication with everyone on the team. As I became more familiar with the tools and the space I gained a higher level of competency in a working kitchen. I appreciated Brandon and Aimee, our co-instructors for how prepared they were for each day's lessons, how thoughtful and present they were - providing clear instructions and lessons for each day. It was a fantastic experience and I would recommend it to anyone."

~ Dan Butler, Culinary School Graduate

Help us continue this incredible work!

Volunteer Updates

Springtime at Stone Soup Café!

Some Upcoming Events!

Volunteer Appreciation

We need your input to help us choose the date for our annual volunteer appreciation event!

We will select the date that works the best for the most people. We did a BBQ at Kirsten's house last year. Would you like to do that again? Are there other activities you'd be interested in? Roller-skating, bowling, karaoke? How do you like to be appreciated?

Take this brief survey and let us know how we can thank you!

Volunteer Updates!

Happy March! Can you believe it?

Reminder: Sign up for your shift! They fill up fast!

The Café has been bursting with Culinary Students, volunteers, new staff, friends, and neighbors! It's so joyful and so... full! We'll only be able to accept walk-in volunteers if we have shift openings, which is becoming rather rare. Make sure you sign up for your volunteer shift in advance to secure your spot. Feel free to reach out to info@thestonesoupcafe.org or text 413-422-0020 if you have any questions about your shift.

Upcoming Events

March 10: Birthday Celebrations!

For all our March lovelies!! HBD to Juliet, Jeff Canter, Daniel Yalowitz, Her Queenship Erika McGee, Mary Rose, and our lovely Louise! Is March your birthday month too?? Tell us! And come eat some cake <3 5:30pm at the Café on Friday, March 10th.

March 14: Telling Stories @ 10Forward

Our beloved Free Store volunteer, Nisse, is hosting a storytelling open mic on Tuesday, March 14th at 7pm at 10forward in Greenfield. Pay-What-You-Can entrance cost and you can put your name in the hat to tell a 5-7 minute story on the theme of "endings." Or just come and watch other people tell stories!

March 25: Spanish Hour @ Stone Soup!

Our beloved volunteer Ester hosts her monthly Spanish language practice group! For native speakers and beginner speakers alike! Good food, good company. ¡Ven a decir "Hola"! Saturday @ 12:30pm. Email Ester to get on the mailing list --> estergonzmar@gmail.com

March 31: Open Mic @ Stone Soup!

Our beloved kitchen & board of directors volunteer, Matt Goulet, is hosting an Open Mic at the Café towards the end of the volunteer shift on Friday night, March 31st. This will likely become a regular event! Come to the inaugural show and share your talents (singing, poetry, music), or watch others perform! We have a very talented musical community! FREE! Doors open and sign-ups start at 5:30pm. The music starts at 6pm. There will be snacks, duh. :)

VOLUNTEER USHERS NEEDED. Sign up for a shift.

2022 Volunteer Gratitude!

Holy macaroni we had some amazing volunteering in 2022!

Check out this infographic explaining how AMAZING you all are via numbers!!

Meet the Chef!

Get to know our newest Culinary Institute Chef Instructor: Aimee Francaes!

Chef Aimee Francaes

Who or what influences your cooking?

It feels as if anyone that’s ever shown a spark of passion, around food or not, has influenced and reverberated my love of food. I’m a big fan of picking up a cookbook or searching for a recipe online when my interest is piqued in a dish or culinary part of the world. Influence is very real and I love that it continues outward like skipping stones on water.

When did you know you were going to become a chef?

Although I accept the term ‘chef,’ I never consider myself one! In my mid/late 20’s I realized I’d love food to be my main profession. I had dreams of opening up my own place with my spouse, Jesse Hassinger. We finally realized that dream in 2017 when we opened Belly of the Beast, an eatery featuring whole-animal, in-house butchery with ingredients sourced from local farms using best practices in raising their crops and animals.

How did you get into cooking and who are your role models?

I’ve loved cooking from an early age! As a young adult, my mentor, Susan Roth, instilled the locavore no-waste side to making food: go to the farmer’s market, get everything you need for the week, come home and cook all day to make food for the week. It was an incredible teaching that I love propelling forward!

Working for Joanne Chang and Christopher Myers in Boston at Flour Bakery and Café was another huge influence. Their discipline, their commitment to settle for nothing less than perfect, and their ability to have so much positivity while holding to such strict standards are unparalleled.

I feel really lucky to have worked for people who care so much about what they do and how they serve the community.

What one of your favorite dishes to make or eat?

Love this question and so hard to answer!! It changes with the seasons. This winter I've been loving making stuffed cabbage, all sorts of beans, and turmeric mac + cheese!

What do you do for fun or for work outside of the kitchen?

I love walking and sometimes do so in the quiet of the middle of the night. A board game day with friends is always appreciated, also a gathering around a fire pit. I love reading, sleeping, and listening to my body.

How are you connected to Western Mass?

We moved back to Boston in 2009 after living in Los Angeles for five years too long. At that moment, we knew we wanted to settle in the Valley given all the incredible farms in the area!

Learn more about Stone Soup Culinary Institute! Our next cohort begins in February!

2022 Citizen of the Year: Kirsten Levitt!!

Greenfield Recorder’s 40th Citizen of the Year

It's hard work... but it's heart work! ♥

Kirsten Levitt and David Levitt

2022 Citizen of the Year, Kirsten Johl Levitt, with her husband, David. Photo by Max Johl

On Friday, our Executive Director was named the Greenfield Recorder’s 40th Citizen of the Year! As one Greenfield resident wrote in her nomination letter:

Kirsten offers a little ray of hope to the lives of so many people due to her big heart and her clear, determined vision to make the world a better place right here in Greenfield.(Read the full article here.)

Watch the Award Ceremony!

Donate to Stone Soup!

“Radical hospitality is a way of building relationships, welcoming strangers into your life, and making a deep connection that will last longer than you ever know.”

- Kirsten Levitt

It’s a New Year!

To all those who observe the Gregorian calendar, Happy 2023!!

Volunteer!

We've added volunteer shifts for January 2023, we'd love for you to sign up! Head to this page to find a shift that works for your schedule.

Culinary School!

We are launching another cohort of the Culinary Institute in the next couple of months. Know anyone who might be interested in culinary school? Please send them our way!

We've got an exciting year ahead. We'll be sure to keep you posted!

Culinary Institute Open House this Friday!

Job Training Opportunity in Franklin County!

Do you know anyone interested in culinary job training?

We're now accepting applications for our next Culinary School cohort!

The Stone Soup Culinary Institute is a job training program that will prepare students for various cooking positions in the diverse food service field.

Students will receive a Food Handlers License, a ServSafe Certificate, and job skills and references for securing work in the emerging food culture here in Franklin County.

Who can apply?

We are especially looking to grow a cohort of students who are currently in recovery, formerly incarcerated, or low-income who need a new career path, but applications are open to all community members interested in pursuing culinary arts professionally.

UPCOMING OPEN HOUSES:
THIS Friday, December 9th from 3:30pm - 5pm
Friday, December 16th from 3:30pm - 5pm

>> Sign up for an open house!

Upcoming Oppertunities!

Monte’s March, Day of Mourning and Thanks Giving, Deep Clean the Café

Volunteer & Staff Appreciation BBQ this Sunday!

Join us for food, music, trivia, and celebration!

WOOOHOOO! It's our annual VOLUNTEER & STAFF APPRECIATION BBQ this Sunday from 4-8pm at Kirsten's house!

We need to know who is coming because we are making something special...!

RSVP here! —> https://airtable.com/shrgT9Hz7Y8uwJkaI

Volunteer Updates!

It’s fall, y’all!

Harvest Supper this Saturday!!

4 PM to 7 PM on the Greenfield Town Common

We are still looking for volunteers!

All volunteers will receive a FREE Stone Soup apron!

Here are shifts that need to be filled - -

4:00pm - 5:00pm Face Painting (we provide everything you need!!)

4:30pm - 5:30pm Beverage Table (a.k.a. Kombucha Keg Wrangler)

4:30pm - 5:30pm Distributing Plates, Cups, Utensils (with a smile!)

5:30pm - 6:30pm Food Line Organizer & People Counter (We give you a clicker! You get to boss people around!)

6:00pm - 7:00pm Face Painting

Sign up for a shift here!

Note: All volunteers must wear face masks during their volunteer shift.

Harvest Supper is back, baby!!

Save the Date: Saturday, August 27th from 4-7pm

It's that time of year again!!

Every August, Stone Soup Café brings the community together to share the bountiful harvest of this Connecticut River valley. Farmers, local producers, and chefs all donate their time and talents to create a delicious meal that is served by volunteers on the Greenfield Town Common.

This year we are doing the Harvest Supper on Saturday 4-7pm, with Sunday as the rain date!

It takes a whole community to make a great community event.

There are many ways to be involved:
-- Meal Prep
-- Flower Arranging
-- Outdoor Setup & Decorating
-- Musician Sound & Stage Tech Support
-- Face Painting
-- Story Sharing Tent
-- Serving Food
-- Ice Cream Scooper
-- Kitchen Clean Up

Reserve your volunteer shift here!

RSVP for Harvest Supper on Facebook! -- https://fb.me/e/1OKVxziuK

NOTE: All volunteers must wear face masks during their volunteer shift. Thank you for helping our community stay safe!

Volunteer with Stone Soup at Pocumtuck Homelands Festival

Stone Soup is a festival food vendor!

Next weekend Stone Soup Café will be serving up some tasty snacks at the Pocumtuck Homelands Festival at Unity Park in Great Falls all day Saturday and Sunday!

Are you available to volunteer for a 2-hour shift? We could use some help serving food and taking payment. This is our first real festival, and there could be close to 1,500 people in attendance!

Sign up to volunteer on Saturday (after the regular meal) or Sunday, shifts all day!

We are excited to be partnering with Nolumbeka and many others on this event!

Sweet Treats FUNdraiser!

Valentine’s Day Goodies - fun for the whole family!

Cookies !! Cupcakes !! Do-It-Yourself Cookie Kits !!

It's our annual Sweet Treats FUNdraiser! Support your hometown café and fill your Valentine's Day with sweetness!

ORDERS CLOSE TOMORROW!

Order now and pick up your sweets at the Café this Friday, February 11th between 1pm-6pm or Saturday 8am-3pm.

ORDER HERE! https://stone-soup-cafe.square.site/

January Updates

Stone Soup Café

November Happenings at Stone Soup Café!

Thanks Giving, Monte’s March, and more!

Stone Soup Café Community Survey - PART 2!

It’ll only take you 3.5 minutes!

Thank you to the 81 of you who filled out our first community survey!

We've got another one for ya!

Take the Survey!

Our working group created this second survey to continue to get to know you! What's next? In January/February we will be hosting a couple of Community Chats! If you're interested in joining the working group to design and facilitate these conversations, email us at info@thestonesoupcafe.org.

Volunteer Updates!

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

Join Our Book Club!

Me and White Supremecy by Layla Saad

Many of Stone Soup Café's staff and board members are participating in this fantastic book club, starting Sunday, September 26th. Together we will read (or re-read!) Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad. Please join us in this learning journey!

Read the FAQs and REGISTER FOR THE BOOK CLUB HERE: https://airtable.com/shrv58scLLT64dnZt

What is “Me and White Supremacy”?

Me and White Supremacy is a life-changing book by Layla Saa on the topics of race, identity, leadership, personal transformation and social change.

What does doing “The Work” in Me and White Supremacy entail?

The book itself is split into twenty-eight chapters divided over the course of 28 days. Each chapter looks into one aspect of how white supremacy shows up in our everyday lives. Every chapter ends with a series of journal prompts for one to dig deeper into their own personal experience and complicity. Most chapters are less than 6 pages long, which means, depending on how deep you want to go with the journaling, each day’s “work” (reading + journaling) could take no longer than 20 minutes.

What is involved with this Accountability Group?

If you decide to join this group you are signing up to join a group of people who are dedicated to spending a month of their lives really and truly doing the work involved in Me and White Supremacy. You will receive a daily email with page readings and a link to complete the journaling work via an online survey.

Who Facilitates the Group?

We are really all facilitated by the brilliant, Black author Layla Saad. It’s her work and her words, we are just here to help you get it done. This accountability part of this group is facilitated by Lauren Worsham, a white woman who is also a Tony-nominated actress and singer who lives in LA with her husband and two children.

Register for the Book Club!

Harvest Supper 2021 - CANCELLED

This hurricane is no match for us.

Due to the hurricane conditions expected on Sunday afternoon, we've decided that the best thing to do for the safety of our community is to cancel the Harvest Supper.

All the food that was donated for the Harvest Supper will be salvaged! Volunteers will be processing the veggies today, tomorrow, and Sunday morning for future meals.

We were REALLY looking forward to celebrating with everyone, and we are so so sad that we have to cancel this year's supper.

Our Saturday lunch is still happening tomorrow 12-1:30pm.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out! And spread the word…

Until next time,

Chef Kirsten

Harvest Supper 2021 - last push for volunteers!

We need you!

A big THANK YOU to those who have already signed up to help out with the 17th Annual Harvest Supper Celebration this Sunday! And a big PLEASE PLEASE to those who haven't yet signed up. We are preparing food for 800 people. This community event cannot happen without YOU, the community. Come show your love for Greenfield!

P.S. All volunteers will get a wicked cute screen-printed apron! They are being screen-printed right now by Taproot Threads. ;)

Meal prep for Harvest Supper starts TOMORROW!

Click on the link to sign up for a shift that works for you this week:

>> Tuesday (TOMORROW!) 5-7 PM

>> Wednesday 5-7 PM

>> Thursday 3-5 PM and 5-7 PM

>> Saturday 4-7 PM

>> Sunday - all day!

We could especially use extra hands for the 3:30-5:00 PM Welcome Committee shift (which includes greeters, line managers, and some folks to run the merch table) and the 1:00-3:30 PM Appetizer Prep shift (which includes making beautiful flower arrangments!).

Many many thanks to you all.

See you on the town common this Sunday from 4-6pm (or even earlier, if you're helpin'!).


Update to our Volunteer Policy: Antiracism

The work starts with each of us.

Because we are immersed in a pandemic, we haven’t been able to do regular Volunteer trainings. But we'd like to keep you up-to-date on the Café's policies, so here's a little "booster-shot!"

-- PLEASE READ ALL THE WAY TO THE END --

As a Café Volunteer, it is essential that you understand Stone Soup's policy on antiracism:

We are committed to the ongoing work of building our beloved community, where all walks of life come together to share nourishment, connection, and learning for body, mind, and spirit.

We know we must work hard to promote solidarity with all our neighbors and challenge colonialism so that we can practice antiracism at all levels of our organization.

In order for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and ALL people affected by racism to feel welcome and have a sense of belonging at the Café, we commit ourselves to the ongoing work of building relationships with all members of our community, especially those most exploited, oppressed, and marginalized.

We will practice antiracism through our daily actions at the Café by intentionally building a culture of inclusivity, justice, and transformation. We will network and reach out to all our neighbors through ongoing education and dialogue, collaboration with partner organizations, and engagement with social movements.

We are dedicated to this process of learning, and becoming antiracist.

This is who we are.

It's hard work, and it's heart work.

It means we will not tolerate racism at the Café. We will work together to learn from each other, and to mend and course-correct for any mistakes we make along the way.

We encourage you to engage in this work with us!

Here are two specific ways to plug in:

  • Join your fellow Stone Soup'ers and sign up for an accountability group! Together we will read (or re-read!) Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad. This 28-day journey starts on September 26th. There will be weekly conversations about the book, and daily journaling prompts. Our goal is to get at least 15 folks from Stone Soup to sign up. Let us know if you're in! (Learn more by checking out these FAQs.)

  • Join our Solidarity Committee! We meet on the first Thursday of every month at 1pm. If you’d like to work on creating actionable antiracism policies, we welcome your ideas! Email info@thestonesoupcafe.org to get to Zoom link to the monthly meeting, or to share your thoughts.

Sending you all BIG BIG love,

Jansyn <3

From the Kettle - Issue #5

Welcome to the Stone Soup Café’s Monthly Newsletter! We aim to share important information with you!

Updates to COVID protocol...

Same same, but different.

Hello Beloved Volunteers!

I'm popping in to say "hi" and "we love you" and to give you some updates about the Café's COVID protocol.

We'd hoped that by now masks would be ancient history. But because we interact with vulnerable populations --and because some of our friends manage to contract COVID even after getting the vaccine(!)-- we are requiring MASKS ON both inside and outside the Café for all volunteers and staff for the indefinite future.

(Remember, guests are not required to mask-up while they are outside getting their meals.)

We did, however, do away with the temperature-taking requirement during check in! Woohoo! Be gone, fidgety and inaccurate thermometers!! Now you only need to check in for your shift using the tablet.

Thanks everyone for bearing with us through all these precautionary inconveniences. We love you all for sticking with us and taking this all in stride.

Be well and see you soon,

Jansyn Thaw (she/her), Director of Programs, Stone Soup Café

P.S. Sign up to volunteer here!

From the Kettle - Issue #4

News from the Café!

April Community Happenings & Volunteer News

Stone Soup Café hosted a conversation about racism last week focused on the life experiences of three local Black community members

Conversations about Race

Stone Soup Café hosted a conversation about racism last week focused on the life experiences of three local Black community members: Jeanne Hall, Richard “Dick” Hall, and Gloria Matlock. They discussed their thoughts and feelings about the murder of George Floyd, the storming of the Capitol on January 6th, and how can we work together to build community with one another. The panel was moderated by Allen Davis, an educator and racial justice activist. He posed four questions to the panelists and they each had a chance to reflect, as the rest of the attendees just listened -- an exercise in bearing witness.

“You can’t just sit at home on your couch reading a book about race,” said Jeanne Hall. “You have to put yourself out of your comfort zone, meet other people, talk to other people, get involved in doing community service. It has to come from within, and you have to want it.”

“People need to have the courage to find out the truth about America, and then tell that truth to our children. Only then will we have more hope to work together,” said Gloria Matlock. Gloria suggests that white folks tap into local racial justice groups, like Racial Justice Rising. “I see a lot of groups working on racial justice almost as a competition, not as one goal, one aim. If we instead think about it as something we need desperately, we need to work hard and fast, and work together. The clock is ticking.”

Dick and Jeanne Hall have lived in Franklin County since 1992, “When we moved here, there were very few Black and brown people, but now you see many more,” said Jeanne. What will Franklin County look like when racial equity is achieved? “Franklin County will look like a rainbow! You’ll have different races, religions, all sorts of different people,” said Jeanne. “I’m damn proud of Franklin County,” said Dick. “I don’t see the future of Franklin County as counting the numbers of different types of folks, but looking at their hearts.”

Stone Soup Café will be hosting a second Conversation about Racism this Sunday evening, April 18th at 6:30pm on Zoom.

Gloria Matlock, Jeanne Hall, and Richard “Dick” Hall

Pay-For-A-Neighbor!

Sneak Peek! Our Annual Meal Appeal is launching publicly on May 1st! Our goal is to raise $1,000 in weekly recurring donations. We are asking YOU, our beloved community, to pay-it-forward! Can you donate $10/week to pay for a neighbor's meal?

The link is live for those who want to donate now!

Volunteer News!

...

Community Happenings!

> DRESS CODE REMINDER: Warm weather is upon us! As the weather gets nicer, please remember to wear close-toed shoes and a shirt with sleeves if you are doing food prep. Alas, we cannot wear our flippity-flops or tank tops while we're in the kitchen.

// Sunday, April 18 // Conversation About Race: Taking Action! Our panelists from last week have inspired us! Now it's up to us to take action towards racial justice in Franklin County. If you care about racial justice, join this conversation! The moderator will be Allen Davis, an educator, and racial justice activist. 6:30-8pm (zoom link)

> Want to engage with Stone Soup beyond chopping veggies and packing meals? Join our FUNDRAISING TEAM! We meet once a month on the 2nd Monday from 6-7:30pm. We discuss upcoming events, the Café's income stream, budgets, fundraising, and more! We'd love to hear your creative ideas about how the cafe can be more financially sustainable-- we want you on the team! Email us!

// Monday, April 26 // The discussion of "Mutual Aid" by Dean Spade continues! Join us from 6:30-8pm to just talk about Chapter 5! This juicy chapter covers themes like: Group Culture, Leadership, Burnout, Conflict, and Joy. (zoom link)

> Did you know volunteering usually drops off during the summer months? Before everyone disappears for the summer, introduce someone new to the Café and BRING A FRIEND TO VOLUNTEER! P.S. Volunteer shifts are now open for the month of May! Get 'em while they're hot!

// Thursday, April 29 // Stone Soup is starting a learning cohort about Trauma Informed Community Building! It will involve a commitment of 8 virtual training sessions over the next 3 months, plus it will get you connected to the work we will be doing on the ground to engage our community! If you're interested, send us an email!

Josh waving hello at the Saturday Free Store!

Volunteer Spotlight!

April is officially volunteer appreciation month! But we appreciate you EVERY month!! So far this year, our volunteers have spent 1,785 combined hours cooking, serving, and delivering meals to our community. WOW!

Today we are giving a special shoutout to these two delivery drivers, Nadine and Peter Mazard! Nadine has been volunteering with Stone Soup since March 2017. She started volunteering with her son in honor of the anniversary of her mom’s passing in March 2016 who loved to feed others in Southern California and Mexico. Peter started volunteering with Nadine in January 2021 in honor of Martin Luther King as part of their service work commitment, “we decided to help Stone Soup together whenever our schedule allows,” says Peter.

“Our favorite thing is that knowing that we are delivering delicious and very nutritious meals to people in need or who want to continue to partake in our community meal. We are happy that Stone Soup has adjusted its creativity to spread its love through food. We love how organized the bags are and the list with notes. We are thrilled that we are able to deliver safely with our masks in our car and at a distance and in our own pod. Plus, Peter and I make a great team making smoother delivery of meals as I drive and Peter takes the meals inside or to the door.”

When they aren’t delivering meals for Stone Soup they love to walk, especially at sunset, and Nadine has started taking pictures and posting them on her IG @nadinemazard They love to cook fresh and healthy meals together. “We are social justice advocates trying to encourage others to be AntiRacist and create equity for all.”

Nadine & Peter

From the Kettle - Issue #3

Welcome to the Stone Soup Café’s Monthly Newsletter! We aim to share important information with you!

Welcome to the Stone Soup Café's Monthly Newsletter.

We aim to share important information with you!

In this edition you will find:

  • What's New at the Café
  • Mission Focus - a monthly topic of interest
  • Staying Connected - opportunities to "meet up" with Café folx and share time and learning
  • Recipe of the Month & Upcoming Meal Themes

What’s New At The Café:

March was another record month at the Café. We served 2,016 meals! That means that in the first quarter of 2021, we have shared 6,061 meals with our community members. Our pantry continues to be a huge help to those in need. In March we distributed grocery items to 350 people. We served the Just Roots Feastival Meal on March 24th – that’s another 200 meals going out to our community. The next Feastival meal is on April 28th.

If you missed our segment on PBS’s Connecting Point you can watch it here! Our segment starts at minute 12:30. We were thrilled to host Ross Lippman here on February 27th and he certainly captured our 2nd largest meal of the year – Chinese New Year feast.

Our volunteers dedicated over 500 hours of service to prepping, cooking, serving, and distributing meals and pantry items! Every ingredient counts and without each and every one of you our soup would not be so flavorful! Thank you so much for your continued dedication and support.

I want to take a moment to thank our staff for their tireless efforts and dedication to our community. This year of COVID 19 has demanded that we rise to the needs of our neighbors and I am proud to work alongside you all. An extra special “Thanks” to Chef Brandon, who has been leading the kitchen once a month and making some tasty food for us to enjoy.

Chef Kirsten

Mission Focus: Pay What You Can - Paying it Forward

Almost a decade ago the Stone Soup Café was born into being through a community naming process. Then executive director & founder Ariel Pliskin conceived our community as one that would support our efforts through a Pay-What-You-Can and Pay-It-Forward program. He had high hopes that those who could pay would do so and perhaps even pay-it-forward by giving extra to pay for other meals as well. Ariel wanted to create “a new model of hunger relief in which people of all socio-economic backgrounds are treated as valuable members of a diverse and inclusive community.”

Back then we had a very small budget, less than $20,000. In 2011 we fed 25-30 people each Saturday and everyone was a volunteer, even Ariel! We developed a food philosophy, created a steps-to-service volunteer plan, and brought community offerings to our Café a couple of times a month. I remember one week when I spent an extra $40 for our Thanksgiving meal and was reminded of our $68 per week food budget!

Well, here we are 10 years later and times sure have changed! We are so blessed to approach the 10th anniversary of the Café. So many lives have been touched, so many people have been fed, so many beloved members of our community value and cherish us. We are so grateful.

Our board is about to embark on our annual process of creating a budget and we are fearlessly looking at our community’s needs and what it will cost to continue our work. From very humble means and beginnings to the now COVID 19 realities, our budget has exploded. We know that we will serve at least 25,000 meals this year and our projected budget expenses will be at least $250,000!

We want to be 100% transparent with our community so that you all understand what it takes to run the Café. Recently I took a deep look at our first quarter 2021 profit and loss statement and recalculated the actual cost of each meal. The actual cost for each of the 6,016 meals was $11.93 each. That’s an increase from our last cost calculation of almost $2.00. Prices on everything are rising as COVID 19 continues.

Our services have grown from 25 people a week to over 350 people per week. We distribute 425-500 meals every Saturday and we collaborate with many other organizations to feed our community on other days of the week too. Our Saturday food budget exceeds $600 each week, packaging, salaries, rent, and administration have all gone up too! We now have one full-time and seven part-time employees, and upwards of 45 volunteers a week. It takes a village to make sure the meals and our programs all happen every week without a hitch.

You may wonder how the Café is doing with the Pay-What-You-Can model. The truth is – not so good. When we average the number of meals provided with the money in the donation box and the weekly online payments we receive between .75 - $1.25 per meal. That’s about one-tenth the amount of funding it takes to make our program possible.

So, you may ask, “How is the Café able to continue its operations with such a small percentage of costs being covered by the pay-what-you-can donations?” Good question. The Café has been working diligently to find other funding avenues. These include fundraisers, events, catering, grants, and private donations. Even with all of those funding streams, our growth has outpaced them. We are turning to all of you to ask the essential question – can you do more for our community?

Are you able to pay for your meal? Are you able to pay for the meals of others? Could you subscribe on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis to provide meals to our community? If your answer is “yes”, won’t you consider doing so today and aid us in our mission?

I invite you to consider supporting the mission by donating on a recurring basis. As the needs of our community have grown so has the Café’s budget. We need all the help you can share with us! Support Our Mission!

Working to be just, compassionate, and equitable is why we are a “Pay What You Can” Café. We depend upon one another for sustenance and support. We share our work, we share our food, we share a common purpose, and we create equity through our meals, our messages, and access to our resources. What could be more compassionate, just, and equitable than us all participating in the making, packing, and freely sharing our meals? What could be more fair and caring than for each of us to choose what we can afford in return for these offerings? Want to pay for your meals? Donate here!

As ever, I am in awe of our beautiful community and the many blessings we share with one another.

Chef Kirsten

Staying Connected: What’s The Buzz?

We always welcome your questions and feedback! Feel free to send us an email at info.thestonesoupcafe@gmail.com and we'll get back to you within 24 hours!

Conversation About Racism: Staying Curious, Moving Forward, and Being Part of the Solution

We are hosting a program designed to encourage discussion between Black and white people and help us learn to appreciate and understand different experiences and perspectives. The conversation will focus on the life experiences of three local Black community members, Jeanne Hall, Richard Hall, and Gloria Matlock, including their thoughts and feelings about the murder of George Floyd and the January 6 violent storming of the Capitol by thousands of people seeking to overturn the results of the Presidential election. The moderator will be Allen Davis, an educator, and racial justice activist.

Time: Apr 11, 2021 06:30 PM Eastern Time

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87618296110

Our discussions about Dean Spade's book "Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the next)” continues on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, April 13th at 6:30 pm. We’ll be discussing “What is Mutual Aid” & " Solidarity Not Charity" chapters 1-4.
  • Monday, April 26th at 6:30 pm. We’ll be discussing “Working together on PURPOSE” Themes: Group Culture, Leadership, Burnout, Conflict, Joy -chapter 5

We ask that you have read these chapters and in true mutual aid style, we still have books available for you if you would like to read and join our conversation. Here’s the Zoom link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86381813066?pwd=Z25TbHd5T0ZRS29yWm5zVXJWalR5Zz09

Meeting ID: 863 8181 3066

Passcode: 957337

Recipe of the Month & April Meal Themes

Friends, last month I shared my seaweed salad recipe with you. It would be awesome to know if you tried it out! Feel free to send me feedback at our info.thestonesoupcafe@gmail.com address.

March certainly blew in like a lion and seemed to blow all month long. I was so grateful for the warmer days and the melting of the snow. I delighted in the crocuses and snowdrops that magically appeared in my garden. They reminded me that spring was definitely happening even on those cold blustery days.

We’ve been really blessed by the availability of avocados through the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts several times this year. My favorite dish to make with this amazingly delicious nutritional superfood is avocado tomato salad. Many Café guests have asked for my recipe – so here it is – just for you.

Avocado Tomato Salad

4 avocados

2 Roma tomatoes

¼ cup red onion- finely diced

¼ cup flat-leaf parsley – rough chopped

¼ cup cilantro – rough chopped

Juice of 1 lime or lemon

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)

¼ teaspoon cumin

Salt & Pepper to taste

A couple of notes on preparing vegetables – when you are cutting tomatoes a serrated knife is really handy, it cuts through the tougher outer flesh with more ease and helps to retain the integrity of the fruit while slicing. When dicing onion, avocado, and herbs you want to use a chef’s knife. A dull knife is dangerous – so make sure your knives are sharp. If you need them sharpened for you the butchers at any supermarket will do that for you – for free!

PREPARATION

  1. Cube your avocados – watch this video for 3 easy steps to get that fabulous fruit cut and freed from its skin with ease

  2. Dice your tomato and onion – (remember to use the correct knife for each) watch this video for an onion cutting tutorial!

  3. Roughly chop your herbs

  4. Juice your lemon or lime

  5. Combine these ingredients in a bowl large enough to mix them

  6. To make the dressing, whisk together the red wine vinegar, garlic, cumin, Sriacha, salt & pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl.

  7. Pour the dressing over the salad – taste and adjust heat, spice, and salt and pepper to your taste.

  8. Serve as a side dish or over salad greens or even with your favorite chips. You can also top hearty chili or tortilla soup with this delicious salad.

April Meal Themes:

  • 04/03/21 – Easter – Ham Dinner

  • 04/10/21 - Siblings Day – Indian Cuisine

  • 04/17/21 - Int’l Haiku Day – Japanese Themed Meal

  • 04/24/21 - Earth Day – Chef Brandon will serve up a delicious meal

March Volunteer News!

>> Volunteer shifts are up on Track-it-Forward for the month of April! Sign up early, and often!

>> Don't forget to RSVP for a meal if you want to take one home after you volunteer on a Saturday. It's an easy link to remember (and it never changes) -- bit.ly/need-meals

>> Get ready to switch back to the summer Café set-up! Starting in April, we'll be shifting more of our operations back outdoors. The warm weather is finally here to stay!

>> Fun Food Safety Tip! As things heat up, wearing tank-tops during food prep might be very tempting, but alas, they don't meet the FDA food safety requirements. We ask that everyone wear sleeved shirts (even if they're short sleeves!). Looking for a go-to Café tee? We have super cute free volunteer t-shirts for anyone who would like one. Just ask!

Community Happenings!

Things are happening in April!

//April 1// Stone Soup volunteer, Marjorie Morgan, has organized an art show called “Nothing Stable Under Heaven; A Showcase of Black Art" which opens April 1 at the Oxbow Gallery in Northampton! The reception is Saturday, April 10, 2021, 3-6pm. Artists include Stone Soup Board Member Gloria Matlock!

//April 9// Stone Soup is co-sponsoring a film screening of "Dope is Death" with Wildflower Alliance, The People's Medicine Project, and Recover Project. "Dope Is Death" is “the story of how Dr. Mutulu Shakur, along with fellow Black Panthers and the Young Lords, combined community health with radical politics to create the first acupuncture detoxification program in America. Watch the film with us and join us for a discussion: tiny.cc/h5eutz

//April 11// Save the date! - An evening panel discussion on race, hosted by some beloved POC community members from the Greenfield community. More details forthcoming! Stay tuned!

//April 13// The discussion of "Mutual Aid" by Dean Spade continues! Join us from 6:30-8pm to talk specifically about the first few chapters of the book (Chapters 1-4). Themes will include: What is Mutual Aid?, Solidarity Not Charity, Dangers and Pitfalls. If you've read the chapters and want to join in, RSVP here: https://forms.gle/1HrCDNC76Ngv2RJ99

//April 26// The discussion of "Mutual Aid" by Dean Spade continues... again! Join us once more from 6:30-8pm to just talk about Chapters 5! This juicy chapter covers themes like: Group Culture, Leadership, Burnout, Conflict, and Joy. I mean, come on. So juicy!!

Volunteer Spotlights!

Y'all are incredible! In the past two months, you've contributed upwards of 800 hours of your time to keep the Café's ship sailing. We couldn't be more humbled by your dedication. Wow!

Special shout out to folks on our **Volunteer Leaderboard** for February and March!!! Racking up those hours! Very impressive Diane, Charlotte, Louise, Daniel, Trouble, et al.!

(P.S. The leaderboard only spotlights folks with Track-it-Forward accounts, just FYI. Make an account! It's fun!).

Our special **Volunteer Spotlight** this month is one of the many incredible delivery drivers -- Elyse Bianchet! Here's a little profile on Elyse (who also goes by Ely):

• How long have you been volunteering with Stone Soup?
I volunteered a few times years ago but started doing so regularly last April because I’m healthy and low risk and wanted to help out.

• How did you hear about Stone Soup originally?
I originally heard about Stone Soup in 2013 when I was at GCC. Ari Pliskin came and did a presentation about the organization in one of my Human Services classes. I was in the Human Services club, which did a fundraiser for Stone Soup, and I volunteered a few times after that.

• How do you fill your time when you’re not delivering meals for Stone Soup!?
I work for the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate as a Research Assistant on various projects that seek to study and address the opioid crisis in our region. In my free time, I love being in the woods with my dogs and my partner Nick, and music—whether making it or just listening, but especially seeing it live, at concerts, bars, or festivals, with friends. It’s the thing I’ve missed most in the last year and what I most look forward to on the other side.

• What’s your favorite thing about volunteering?
My favorite part of volunteering is getting to know the wonderful people on my route, and getting to be part of such an amazing organization. I know how much I enjoy the meals, and am so glad to be able to facilitate that enjoyment for others.

Book Signing at the Café

With Local Author Daniel Yalowitz

March 13th & March 20th


Local author, educator, and fabulous Stone Soup volunteer, Daniel Yalowitz, is the author of a new book titled “Reflections on the Nature of Friendship.”

Daniel has graciously offered to do book signings outside the Café on two upcoming Saturdays, March 13th and March 20th!

Here's more info from Daniel about his book --

"Friendship has been instrumental throughout this community-building and in my personal life. Creating this book has been a deeply heartful, meaningful, and life-affirming project for me. Through my life’s work and writing this book, I have reconnected in beautiful and powerful ways with friends new and old, locally and continents away. I have felt tremendous gratitude in giving myself the gift of time, along with the synergy of love and energy to write this book, which I hope you will enjoy."

The book will be available for $20 (+$1.50 tax; cash and check only please) and Daniel will happily inscribe your copy as you desire!

From the Kettle - Issue #2

Welcome to the Stone Soup Café’s Monthly Newsletter! We aim to share important information with you!

In this edition you will find:

  • What's New at the Café
  • Mission Focus - a monthly topic of interest
  • Staying Connected - opportunities to "meet up" with Café folx and share time
  • Recipe of the Month & Upcoming Meal Themes

What’s New At The Café:

February flew by in a flurry! We were so grateful for all of your support of our Valentine’s Day FUNdraiser. We sold 20 dozen cupcakes, 10 dozen decorated cookies, and 20 Decorate Your Own cookie kits. Folx let us know that they had tons of fun decorating cookies with their loved ones.

We received two special treats of our own in February! We were awarded a Massachusetts Food Security Infrastructure Grant to help us purchase more kitchen equipment and build our capacity to make even more meals. Then we received word that our community outreach project will be funded through the Baystate Better Together Grant. We are tickled pink!

We served 1,825 meals this month at our Saturday meals. Our “Free Market” emergency food pantry served 268 people in February. We are so grateful for the over 100 volunteers who shared over 500 hours of their time and talents – THANK YOU SO MUCH! Because of you, our Café can serve delicious restaurant-quality meals to our community.

We restarted our collaboration with Just Roots’ Feastival team and served our first Feastival of 2021 on February 24th – 185 meals of hearty beef or bean stew over lemon kale rice with local apples made into a slaw salad and sweet beet brownies were on the menu. Feastivals will happen once a month on the last Wednesday through May and then we could move to twice a month after that…stay tuned.

We’ve been selected to be in a news feature by “Connecting Point” a PBS news show. Ross Lippman videographer and editor of the show filmed “Stone Soupers” in action all day on February 27th. Ross has let us know that the story will air in the next week or so – stay tuned for details about how you can tune in and watch.

Lastly, we know the vaccine rollout is happening, and yet with supply chain issues and new COVID 19 variants on the rise, we turned to the experts about what more we could do for protection as we work together at the Café. The recommendation was to wear double masks – yet that can be very cumbersome in an already hot environment – so we found a solution! We purchased cloth masks with filter inserts and had them screen-printed by local artisan Carol Michelfelder at Taproot Threads. We are giving these masks (which offer 4 layers of protection when the filter is inserted) to our volunteers and staff. We know that everyone is better protected while working at the Café when wearing a mask.

Mission Focus: Justice, Equity, and Compassion For Our Community

When our founders Bernie Glassman (Zen Peacemakers Founder) and Jeff Bridges (Oscar-winning actor and Zen Buddhist) decided to create the “Let All Eat Café” they had had experiences that showed them that “soup kitchens” shared lots of love at their meals, but not much dignity. Thus they conceived that the Café would serve up love and compassion, recognizing that each and every one of us is part of one another and deserving of dignity and respect.

Perhaps this is best embodied in Bernie’s penning of the Zen Peacemakers mantra “The Gates of Sweet Nectar.” He asked Krishna Das to put the invocation to music. The words help formulate the manner in which Stone Soup Café offers its meal to all who wish to partake.

Calling out to hungry hearts
Everywhere through endless time
You who wander, you who thirst
I offer you this bodhi mind.
Calling out to hungry spirits

Everywhere through endless time
Calling out to hungry hearts
All the lost and left behind
Gather round and share this meal
Your joy and your sorrow
I make them mine.

At the Stone Soup Café, you can see this mantra enacted every Saturday in its entirety. We freely offer ourselves into service of our community and that doing so means we are also serving ourselves. We are one, beautiful and flawed, part and parcel of one another, dependent upon one another, interconnected and in service to each other. Want to see Krishna Das and Bernie talk about the Gates of Sweet Nectar? Watch here!

Working to be just, compassionate, and equitable is why we are a “Pay What You Can” Café. We depend upon one another for sustenance and support. We share our work, we share our food, we share a common purpose, and we create equity through our meals, our messages, and access to our resources. What could be more compassionate, just, and equitable than us all participating in the making, packing, and freely sharing our meals? What could be more fair and caring than for each of us to choose what we can afford in return for these offerings? Want to pay for your meals? Donate here!

I invite you to consider supporting the mission by donating on a recurring basis. As the needs of our community have grown so has the Café’s budget. We need all the help you can share with us! Support Our Mission!

As ever, I am in awe of our beautiful community and the many blessings we share with one another.

Chef Kirsten

Staying Connected: What’s The Buzz?

We always welcome your questions and feedback! Feel free to send us an email at info.thestonesoupcafe@gmail.com and we'll get back to you within 24 hours!

We are reading and then discussing Dean Spade's book "Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the next)."

In true mutual aid style, we have copies of the book at the Café if you would like to read it and join in on our discussion. The first discussion is set for Sunday, March 7th at 6:30 pm. We do ask that you read the book or at least have most of it read by our first discussion. Here’s a link to the sign up for the event

https://forms.gle/LMyvCdhmmV1ddxj16

We’re looking forward to a riveting conversation about mutual aid and how it ties into our work at Stone Soup Café and beyond.

The Greenfield Stop n Shop has selected Stone Soup Café as its March “Bloomin’ For Good” beneficiaries. Here’s another way to raise some FUNds for the Café this month. Each specially marked bouquet you purchase means that Stone Soup Café will receive $1.

Local author, educator, and Stone Soup volunteer Daniel Yalowitz has a new book titled “Reflections on the Nature of Friendship”. Daniel has graciously offered to do book signings at the Café on March 14th and 21st. The book costs $20.00 and we will have copies available for you to purchase and Daniel will inscribe your copy as you desire. Look for our upcoming posts about this exciting opportunity to meet the author.

Recipe of the Month & March Meal Themes

Friends, last month I shared my vegetable stock recipe with you. It would be awesome to know if you tried it out! Feel free to send me feedback at our info.thestonesoupcafe@gmail.com address.

Marching into March is always an interesting time – seed inventory happens and the spring winds start to blow, surprise snowstorms make us hibernate a bit more, and yet there is a stirring within me that makes it hard to sit still. Do you feel that way too?

I yearn for tender green yumminess and often make nutrient-dense salads that help my system prepare for the spring activities that take lots of my energies. So I decided to share my seaweed salad recipe with you this month!

Seaweed Salad

2 ounces dried green wakame seaweed

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil

Juice of 1 lime or lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 small carrot, peeled and sliced paper-thin

1 cup thinly shredded red cabbage

2 ounces daikon radish, peeled and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds

1 teaspoon toasted black sesame seeds

4 green onions, slivered

PREPARATION

  1. Put the wakame in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak 5 to 10 minutes, until softened. Drain in a colander, pat dry, and place in a serving bowl.
  2. To make the dressing, whisk together the rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl.
  3. Spoon half the dressing over the seaweed, add the lime/lemon juice and toss gently. Taste and add a small amount of salt & pepper if necessary. Surround the salad with the carrot, red cabbage, daikon, you may add other vegetables if you want – like cucumber, radishes, celery. Season them lightly with salt and drizzle with the remaining dressing.
  4. Sprinkle the salad with white and black sesame seeds and green onions.

March Meal Themes:

  • 03/06/21 - Int’l Womens’ Day – World Cuisine
  • 03/13/21 - Isra and Miraj – Traditional Islamic Cuisine
  • 03/20/21- Spring Equinox – Chef Brandon will whip up a delicious meal!
  • 03/27/21 – Passover – Traditional Jewish Cuisine

Ask the Chef! Tonight at 6:30pm!

Chef Kirsten is on the hot seat...!

Join Stone Soup Café TONIGHT at 6:30pm EST for this month's Virtual Café Hangout: Ask the Chef!

Many of you have wondered how we select recipes, how we plan our menus, how we pick the meal's theme, where we get our local ingredients, or how Kirsten makes the most DELICIOUS gluten-free desserts! Chef Kirsten shares all her secrets TODAY at 6:30pm!

Ask the Chef everything you ever wanted to know about flavors, recipes, and how the meals come together every Saturday. Pop in! Pop out!

Click this link to join at 6:30PM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85116829384?pwd=NkZ6RCtBUFRsbnFmRVgrUGdvMXVydz09

You are invited to bring your questions and curiosity, or just say, "Hi!" We'd love to see your face.

See you tonight!

Jansyn Thaw

Level Up your Mask Game with us!

The volunteer perks keep on coming!

Exciting Announcement!

To all our volunteers, we have a FREE gift that shows our appreciation to you AND increases everyone’s safety at the Café!!!

In light of the new CDC recommendation, instead of requiring double-masking at the Café, we are providing everyone with a customized fabric mask and filter insert-- four gorgeous layers of protection, so that we can keep doing this critical community work together. The masks are SUPER DUPER comfortable and have our cute lil’ Stone Soup logo screen printed on them by our fave local screen printer Tap Root Threads!

Next time you come to the Café for a volunteer shift, you will receive this FREE GIFT. We’re elevating the whole Stone Soup Crew!! Level up with us.

See you soon <3

Jansyn

February Community Offerings & Volunteer Spotlight!

Oh, hello! We just wanted to let you know about a few things!

First of all, we'd like to celebrate these two volunteers who have been showing up to deliver meals every Saturday since June 2020! WOW! Thanks, Pamela & Donna! Here's a little interview with them:

Every Saturday, these two friends Pamela McBride and Donna Mollard, roll up to Stone Soup Café eager to load up their car to the brim with hot meals and deliver them around the community.

Pamela has been a volunteer at Stone Soup Café for about 3 years. “I was looking to help the community, and the Café seemed like a good fit...and it is! It is such a beautiful way to connect with our community - I love the interaction, the smiles, the conversation, and knowing I am making a small but positive differences.” In pre-COVID times, Pamela helped out in the Front of House, serving meals and interacting with guests. Now, delivering meals on Saturday is one of the highlights of her week, but she says it’s hard not to interact with people face-to-face like she used to.

Outside of Stone Soup, Pamela works in Information Services at the Greenfield Public Library. She’s also an avid reader, gardener, knitter, and in the last year, an enthusiastic walker. Donna used to run a local bed and breakfast, and now she works at a local cleaning company. She also helps out her neighbors with whatever they may need: “We all take good care of each other,” she says.

“It is our pleasure to deliver your amazing food made with so much love,” says Donna, “We love seeing how happy and appreciative people are when we leave their meals for them. It keeps us connected to our wonderful community.”

Community Happenings:

  1. Our monthly virtual Café hangout is coming up! Many of you have wondered what recipes we use, how we plan our menus, or even simply how to cut an onion like a pro! Chef Kirsten bares all this Sunday at 6:30pm during our Zoom Hangout! Ask the Chef everything you ever wanted to know about flavors, recipes, and how the meals come together every Saturday. Pop in!

  2. Stone Soup Café is hosting a book club! We'll be reading "Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the Next)" by Dean Spade, a trans lawyer/activist/organizer who has been working to build queer and trans liberation based in racial and economic justice. This first book club session will be facilitated by Boone Shear, board member of Stone Soup Café and professor of Anthropology at UMass. It will be low pressure, low stakes, with lots of room for us to share ideas and then come up with some potential next steps! All you need to do is show up having read some or all of the book. (It's a short one, don't worry!). Our discussion will take place virtually on Sunday, March 7th at 6:30pm. Email us if you'd like more info!

  3. Check out this 30-minute HIP Outreach Training that CISA is hosting -- happening TOMORROW at noon via Zoom. Many SNAP recipients don't realize they have access to HIP benefits, and don't take advantage of this great opportunity to get fresh fruits and vegetables for free! It's good to know about if you're talking to anyone who uses food stamps! It's such a great benefit, and totally underused! Register for the little free workshop here, or just pop into the Zoom call at 12pm tomorrow: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85444366131

And as always, sign up to volunteer!

That's all for now!

Jansyn Thaw & The Stone Soup Crew

Volunteer Opportunities in Greenfield!

Support Stone Soup’s Neighboring Orgs!

Hi Stone Soup Volunteers!!

First of all, we have some open volunteer spots for tomorrow's meal. Is anyone available to help out? It's going to be a beautiful, sunny, warm (36 degrees!) day. Sign up here for meal-packing or outdoor service starting at 11:30am --> https://www.trackitforward.com/site/566431/event/571355

There are also some other volunteer opportunities with amazing neighborhood orgs who are looking for an extra hand or two --

Our beloved Melanie Highlander from the Franklin County Community Meals Program is looking for volunteers to help with food pantry distribution for Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4 PM - 5:30 PM at the Second Congregational Church. Send an email to melanie.highlander@gmail.com or call 413-325-7901 if you're interested in learning more!

Also, The Center for Self Reliance could use a bit of support in their incredible new location. Their food pantry has grown and moved to Main Street! If you haven't met Justin Costa yet, you are in for a treat! He is a gentle, caring, friendly soul. Reach out to Justin and he'll let you know how you can help out: jcosta@communityaction.us.

See all you lovely folks soon(er or later)!

<3 Jansyn Thaw

Director of Programs and Marketing, Stone Soup Café

From the Kettle - Issue #1 January 2021

Welcome to the Stone Soup Café’s Monthly Newsletter! We aim to share important information with you!

A New Year - A New Endeavor!

Welcome to the first of our monthly newsletters!

In this edition you will find:

  • What's New at the Café
  • Mission Focus - a monthly topic of interest
  • Staying Connected - opportunities to "meet up" with Café folx and share time
  • Recipe of the Month & Upcoming Meal Themes

What's New At The Café

January certainly has been an important and interesting month at the Café. Our staff is growing!

We welcome Cara Klempner to our staff as a grants consultant. Cara's skill and knowledge in grants and funding is a boon to our quickly growing organization. We look forward to learning about the many possibilities for our future with her guidance.

Our beloved Jansyn Thaw became our first ever Director of Programs and Marketing on January 1st! Jansyn oversees the volunteer, emergency food pantry, and delivery programs. She also does all of our social media postings and marketing for all things Stone Soup Café. Jansyn shares her creativity, compassion, and love for our community in everything she does - feel free to reach out to her anytime at info.thestonesoupcafe@gmail.com or 413-422-0020.

The bitter cold is here and we are making sure that folx have what they need! We served 2,035 meals this month! Delivered meals are very popular right now - and we are so grateful to our weekly drivers - they rock!

We also provided groceries for well over 400 individuals at our weekly Emergency Food Pantry. This service was enhanced on Saturday the 30th when Greenfield Police Officers Bill and Laura Gordon arranged for USDA boxes to be available to our guests. We love our community friends who share and care with us all!

We have compiled our annual meal data as well - we served 21,953 meals from January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020. Because of COVID-19 our meals have more than doubled.

The entire staff, board, and volunteer crew have worked hard to make sure we were able to safely and reliably provide meals for our community. Hurrah for pivoting and planning - all our efforts have certainly made a difference.

We've been discussing and making plans for our beloved Café in the past several months. Many of our discussions have been focused on our operation and the way in which we have pivoted to meet the demand for our meals and comply with our rigorous COVID-19 safety practices. Yet, we have been keenly aware that our mission "To create a community space where people from all walks of life come together to share nourishment, connection, and learning for body, mind and spirit" has been interrupted by COVID-19. So, we have been focusing on how we can continue to create community space when there is no one in our dining room. We are committed to our community and making sure that we stay connected to you too. We have been holding zoom hangouts, having art displayed at our curbside pickup, and now a monthly newsletter to keep the connections going and growing.

The Café's resident artists, Whitney Robbins and Marjorie Morgan, created magnificent art displays for our MLK weekend. These works have helped community members have discussions about antiracism as they wait in line for meals. We also held our first ever "Pick Your Own Film Festival and Discussion Group" for the MLK weekend of reflection and celebration. We had a lovely group of participants who showed up and shared their thoughts about the films they watched. Our discussion was enlightening, it helped us know one another better and speak our truths. The Recorder write a piece about our activities - here's the link!

Mission in Focus - Pay What You Can

A lot of people are confused about our model. They wonder "What is the Café; is it a soup kitchen?" The simple answer is - not so simple! The reality is that we are neither a soup kitchen nor a for-profit restaurant. Stone Soup Café is a community restaurant operating in a manner that is more like mutual aid than a charity - and yet - we are a nonprofit corporation that allows our supporters to make non-taxable contributions to help us feed our neighbors.

Here's a definition of Pay What You Can (PWYC): A non-profit or revenue driven plan of action which does not rely on set costs for its merchandise, but rather requests that clients pay what they feel the item or administration is worth to them. PWYC relies on correspondence (connection) and trust to succeed!

The Stone Soup Café operates in a PWYC manner so that all members of the community are able to access healthy, nutritious, delicious, cooked with love meals. Our meal is for everyone, every time they want to dine with us, regardless of their ability to pay what it costs us to provide the meal.

If the Café was a "soup kitchen" many people might think that "only poor people or people in need or food insecure people" can participate in our community Café, which simply isn't true. The PWYC model invites us to all participate at the level in which we can.

Sharing our work through volunteering, our wisdom through our interactions and expertise, and our wealth through the PWYC model is at the heart of our Café. We trust our community to be here for one another and we are honored to be a part in creating a social economy that not only pays what it can but is also paid back through meaningful experiences.

"So, what does it cost to provide a meal?" This is a question we are often asked. We've done the math and we know that on average the cost of a meal is $10.00. In the past we shied away from putting a suggested donation on our meals - thinking that some folx might feel terrible about not being able to pay - or others might be inclined to only pay the suggested price rather than what they could. Operating a PWYC is an exercise in vulnerability and trust. We open ourselves to the possibility that people may not participate in PWYC and we trust that our community will pay what they can!

Want to see how altruistic behaviors like giving, helping, and sharing actually make you healthier and are wired into our DNA? Watch this TED Talk by Judith Manshanden who was one of the first to use a business model based on the idea of abundance. In her ‘pay as you can’ restaurant “GEEF! Café” (the GIVE! Café) healthy and nutritious meals were served and people paid in cash or kind as they were able. Watch the 9-minute talk here!

Staying Connected! What's The Buzz?

We always welcome your questions and feedback! Feel free to send us an email at info.thestonesoupcafe@gmail.com and we'll get back to you within 24 hours!

In February we will have a Zoom hangout focused on "Ask the Chef"! Many of you have wondered what recipes we use, how to cut an onion, or how we plan our menus. You are invited to bring your questions and curiosity to our February Zoom Hangout. We'll meet at 6:30 on Sunday February 21st - Want to join us click the link here!

Also, in February we will be reading and then discussing Dean Spade's book "Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the next)" - We are working on getting an expert facilitator for this discussion group. We'll send out a link for our first discussion soon!

Lastly, there is a February Sweet Treat Fundraiser! We are featuring Decorated Valentines Day Cookies, Decorate Your Own Cookie Kits, and 3 flavors of cupcakes. We hope you are able to participate in the FUNdraiser and spread the word too! Orders are open until February 10th for pickup on Friday the 12th from noon until 6pm. You can place your order here!

Recipe of the Month & February Meal Themes

I love February! There's usually lots of snow and I start my garden planning. I spend time with my beloved husband and make lots of comforting recipes. This month I wanted to give you a recipe that helps you make so many others - stock!

Friends making your own stock can save you money, uses your resources to the fullest, and helps our environment too. Use stock to make your soups, rice, beans, lentils, and other dishes that call for water in their recipes!

Here's the deal - homemade vegetable stock makes everything taste better! There are a few tricks to making stock - and so I thought we should start with the basics! Wash everything before you prep your meals and save the bits for your own stock!

What goes in vegetable stock? Onion, garlic, & carrot peels, kale, collard, or other greens', broccoli, cauliflower, & herb stems, celery ends and leaves, leaves from greens of all kinds (cabbage, spinach, Swiss chard, etc.), tomato, zucchini, summer squash and pepper ends too!

What doesn't go into vegetable stock - potato peels (because they are starchy and muddy your stock), hard squash peels (because they do not impart flavor and take up too much room), turnip or rutabaga peels (because they are often waxed) - basically anything that will muddy your stock should not go in it!

Collect vegetable peels, stems, leaves, and pieces from your meal prep(s) - hint you can freeze these until you have enough to make a large batch of stock. When you have 4 or 5 quarts of veggie bits you are ready to make stock!

How to make stock:

In a large pot - at least 8 quarts - place all of your peels, stems, leaves, and pieces of vegetables. Fill pot with water covering the vegetables. Place 4-5 bay leaves in the pot. You can also put in red chili flakes, garlic cloves, ginger peel, or anything else that you want to use as flavor enhancers to your stock. Do Not Add Salt!

Cover the pot and place it on the stove on very low heat for 8-12 hours. You could also do this in a crock pot on low for 12 hours.

Little tips for you during cooking - you will need to check the pot and make sure that the water level does not boil away. You may need to add more water as the stock cooks. The longer it cooks the more concentrated the stock will become. I like a concentrated stock because I can add some water and still know that the flavor will still be lovely!

Once the stock is cooked (all the veggies will be very mushy) take it off the heat. Let it cool for several hours. Then use a sieve/strainer and drain the liquid away from the solids. I use another pot and a wire strainer to separate these and then I use the bottom of a cup to press the liquid out of the veggies to get every drop of goodness!

Place your cooled stock in containers (I use the heavy duty quart sized plastic take out containers) and store in your fridge or freeze them! You can keep the stock in your refrigerator for a week or freeze (good for at least 6 months) it in containers to use as needed.

February Menu Themes:

  • 02/06/21 - Chef Brandon’s Birthday Meal - Mediterranean
  • 02/13/21 - Valentine’s Day Meal - Italian
  • 02/20/21 - Mardi Gras - New Orleans Inspired
  • 02/27/21 - Chinese New Year Celebration - The Year of the Ox

Valentine’s Day Sweet Treats Fundraiser!

Help support your hometown café while having fun with your loved ones decorating your own cookies!

Will you be our Valentine??

Stone Soup Café is hosting a SWEET TREATS FUNDRAISER!

Chef Kirsten (and her baking apprentice Emily Clarke) have crafted awesome DIY Cookie Kits for you to take home. We’ll provide the sugar cookies, 3 frosting colors, and 3 sprinkle varieties… and YOU take it from there!

Order & Pay HERE!
stone-soup-cafe.square.site

All our sweet treats are gluten-free, and you can choose vegan or vegetarian.

Don’t want to decorate your own cookies? Let the professionals do it for you! ;) Craving some cupcakes instead? We got you covered.

Here’s our full list of sweet treats you can purchase for pick-up on Feb 12th:

  • Decorate-Your-Own Cookie Kit
  • Pre-Decorated Valentine’s Cookies
  • Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry filling and Mocha Buttercream
  • Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Curd filling and Swiss Merengue frosting
  • Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry filling and Cream Cheese frosting

Pick up your goodies on Friday, February 12th between 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM at the Café's red door on Hope Street in Greenfield!

Order & Pay HERE! stone-soup-cafe.square.site

Fill your Valentine’s Day with sweetness!

Stone Soup News & Updates!

Photos from our Pop-Up MLK Day Art Show and a sneak peek at what’s coming up next month.

Dear Stone Soup supporters,


Did you see the Greenfield Recorder published an article on our “Pick Your Own Anti-Racism Film Festival” and Pop-Up MLK Day Art Show? Check out the article!

As part of our Film Fest, on Sunday night a group of us got together virtually to discuss what MLK means to us, the incredible films we had watched, and ideas about how White people can show up in the anti-racism movement. It was an incredible discussion and we are eager to host more community events like that in the future!

The Pop-Up MLK Day Art Show was also a huge success, despite the rain. For those of you not following us on Instagram (@stonesoupcafegreenfield) or Facebook (@StoneSoupGreenfield), here are some beautiful images from our Pop-Up MLK Day Art Show, featuring art by Whitney Robbins, Marjorie Morgan, Rachel Jenkins, and Leilany Zaylene Jackson!

Thanks for being a part of all of our community-building endeavors, anti-racism activities, and showing up to support us for our weekly Saturday meals!

Keep your eye on what’s coming up in the next month at the Café —

  • Feb 12th — Valentine’s Day Fundraiser: Decorate-Your-Own-Cookie Kits! More info coming soon!
  • Feb 21st, 6pm — Virtual Zoom Hangout: Ask the Chef! Everything you ever wanted to know about flavors, recipes, and how the meals come together every Saturday.
  • Date TBD — Mutual Aid Book Club! Join us in discussing Dean Spade’s latest book “Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the Next)

See you around town!

Jansyn Thaw

Volunteer Coordinator & Assistant Director

Stone Soup Café

Art by Leilany Zaylene Jackson (age 10)

Painting by Whitney Robbins
By Whitney Robbins + Marjorie Morgan
Painting by Whitney Robbins & Marjorie Morgan
Pop-Up Art Show + Food Pantry table!

MLK Weekend Zoom Hangout and Film Discussion

You asked for it and we have risen to the challenge! Meet with your Café friends each month to share and learn from one another.

In honor of MLK Day, Stone Soup Café is hosting a Pick-Your-Own Anti-Racism Film Fest!

MLK Day is an opportunity for deep reflection and personal engagement around race and racism. It's a federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., who was born in Georgia on January 15, 1929, and was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39. Let's continue to learn from his legacy.

Poke through our fantastic list of anti-racism flicks and commit to watching at least one before Sunday evening. Once you've watched a film, let's get together virtually on Sunday night (January 17th), hang out with your favorite Stone Soup folks, and share about the films we watched!

OUR MOVIE PICKS:

  1. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf (1982)
  2. Selma (2014)
  3. 13th (2016)
  4. Kiki (2017)
  5. King In The Wilderness (2018)
  6. John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020)
  7. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations - Where Do We Go From Here? (2020)

Check out the film links here! We have videos for kids too! >> https://bit.ly/2XMYN3D

Will you join together with Stone Soup Café and make time to watch one film? (Or two? Or three!?) We can't wait to see you (virtually) on Sunday night and share about the films we watched!

Check out the Facebook event! https://www.facebook.com/events/161118719131115

Join the Zoom Hangout on Sunday!

Sunday Jan 17, 2021 6:00 PM --> https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86740457544?pwd=a3pEWXBMUTZRMjk5V2p0MGdvTnhVdz09

In solidarity and community,

Jansyn Thaw, Stone Soup Café Volunteer Coordinator and Assistant Director

P.S. We are hosting a pop-up art show on Saturday at the Café! Come by and get your meal and check out the local art inspired by Black Lives Matter and MLK Day.

Stone Soup Cafe to Host Harvest Supper Celebration 2020...with a twist!

16th Annual Harvest Supper Celebration with Online Auction and Live Streamed Seth Glier Concert

On Sunday, August 23, 2020, the newly renamed Harvest Supper Celebration will go on despite COVID-19. The Stone Soup Café, host of this local treasure since 2015, will once again lovingly cook delicious meals using local produce and products for hundreds of community members -- but with a twist. This year’s event will feature a drive-through meal, followed by two very important fundraising events -- an online streaming musical event with Grammy-nominated local musician Seth Glier and two online auctions, a Silent and a Live Auction. Attendees will be able to pick up food to dine on at home while enjoying the concert and the chance to browse and bid on auction items. All proceeds will be used to support the vital work of the Stone Soup Café.

With the onset of COVID-19, many more in our community are now facing food insecurity. The Stone Soup Café, a pay-what-you-can café operating in All Souls Church, offers gluten-free meals on Saturdays, with vegetarian and vegan options, to those in need regardless of ability to pay. Having switched from serving in our dining room to preparing meals for pick-up and delivery, our needs have grown from 150 meals a week to 350 or more. These meals are prepped, cooked, packed, and delivered by a large group of dedicated volunteers and a small paid staff to realize our mission of providing nourishment and connection for people from all walks of life.

The Chef's Dinner will feature past favorites such as Turkey-Peach Salad, Pork Kapusta, Wheatberry-Blueberry Salad and a fresh Local Fruit Crumble with fresh Whipped Cream. A Silent Auction will be open on August 20th for viewing and bidding and on the day of the event, a Live Auction will take place at 6:00 PM, followed by a 45-minute live-streamed Concert by local Grammy-nominated artist, Seth Glier. Diners will have the option to pick up their meals, with some limited delivery available for those with no transportation or an inability to drive. A donation of $25 for the Chef's Dinner is suggested, and Concert tickets will also sell for $25. While we remain a pay-what-you-can cafe, we remind you that this is our largest annual fundraiser to help us to continue to feed the hungry in Franklin County.

What’s New At the Stone Soup Café?

A whole lot has been changing since COVID 19 came to our Happy Valley, read to find out what’s been going on at the Café

COVID 19 Changes to the Café

Since March 21st the Stone Soup Café's sit down meal has been transformed into a curbside pick up and delivered meals! You might ask - "How did you do that?" and "How is it going?"

Well, that could be a whole newsletter in and of itself - and I'll give you the short version. On March 16th the Café board, staff, and key volunteers met to discuss the fate of our Café during the time of COVID 19. After a 2 hour meeting it was nearly unamimous that our mission could not and would not be stopped by the pandemic! We chose to create COVID 19 safety and sanitaiton protocols for all staff and volunteers, we quickly reached out to create RSVP forms and garner Delivery Volunteers, and we found new folks to help us run it all! These unsung heroes are: Bram Morenis, Robin Sidel, Janna Walters, and April Jones. Our orignal team is in the process of training a new set of helpers - soon to be heroes - Jessica Hunt, Patti Kain, and someone yet to be named - could that be you?

Our meal service has grown too! From an avearage of 170 meals a week to an average of over 350 meals a week. If you know us, you know that a well rounded, delicious, nutritious meal is our standard. We are pretty proud to share that our meals have not changed and that our guests are loving the food. We certainly cannot make twice as much food without more help - and luckily we have gotten a great new crew of volunteer staff and crew members. We created a brand new curbside pick up team! These folks are heroes too! They are Brandon Shantie, Gareth Lomax, Mark Majewski, Janet Diani, and Whitney Robbins.

Our kitchen, packing, and cleanup crews have all gotten new folks as well - all of us braving a very hot kitchen for long hours making our food extra special. More heroes to share with you - Lysa Morton, Louise Sauter, Aaron Church, Dianne Peloquin, Emily Clarke, Emily Jarvis, Emily Koester, Steve Hippie, Cynthia Fritz, Kim Scammon, and so many, many more! We are so blessed to do our work with you all!

We have added services beyond our meal! Each Saturday at our curbside pickup you can also get:

  • Face masks lovingly made by crafters who have donated them to the Café
  • Community services and resources information
  • Curbside Food Pantry items - sourced from the Food Bank of Western Mass and donations from local farmers and farms!

More blessings abound at the Stone Soup Café because of this crisis!

No one knew what the needs would be because of the crisis. What we did know is that thousands of people in Franklin County would be in need of meals. We knew that we would have to rise to meet the challange of serving more meals - all individually packaged. We knew that we could do it too!

We started a fundraising page, Loving Support in the Time of COVID 19, and the response has been phenominal! We have so blessed by the many donors who have given generously to support our effors. The costs of providing individually packaged meals and doubling our meal service has had a significant impact on our budget, nearly doubling our staffing and food costs, tripling our papergoods costs, and prompting us to purchase more kitchen tools and equipment to keep up with the demand.

So as you are able, please continue to be generous, every donation aids us in our work in our comminity.

Our Website has a new host and design team!

Thanks to Mik, Donna, Joey, and Sean at Montague Web Works for creating our new website. Feel free to check out the new site at www.thestonesoupcafe.org.

Working with them has been a breeze and we are on their rocketfusion hosting site. I cannot tell you how comforting it is to be able to work with a company that has humans answering the phone, who actually can help you navigate the system, and who are always friendly with a can do attitude. Thanks you all!

Just a few final words:

I am eternally grateful for all of the ways that COVID 19 has renewed our resourcefulness and community "can do" spirit. In this time of great anxiety and trauma, where our lives have been interupted, we as a commiunity have been able to come together and find ways to help one another. When we return to "normal" I hope that we keep many of memories of how helping one another made us feel vital to the greater whole of our community.

As it is spoken in the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival:

FORWARD TOGETHER, NOT ONE STEP BACK!

Yours in gratitude,

Kirsten Levitt

Executive Director & Chef

Stone Soup Cafe to lead 2018 Free Harvest Supper’s 14th annual event

The return of the Free Harvest Supper in 2017 was such a resounding success that Stone Soup Cafe has committed to continuing this wonderful community event. This year’s meal will be held on Sunday, August 26, 2018. The meal is held on the Greenfield Town Common. All are welcome!

Kirsten Levitt, executive chef & director of Stone Soup Cafe has teamed with Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center to present an afternoon and evening full of delicious local foods and entertainment. After the meal there will be a pay-what-you-can dance party at the Hawks and Reed Ballroom from 7 – 10 pm.

A core group of organizers are helping to get all the logistics and structures of the meal in place – and that number will swell to 100 volunteers on the day of the event! We plan on 800 + people attending. If you’d like to volunteer please contact Shirley Holmes via email at Redheadedgirl19@yahoo.com.

We ask that you support the meal’s zero landfill goal by bringing your own plate, utensils, and napkins with you and then take them home to wash. Don’t worry if you forget them – we’ll have compostable supplies on hand just in case!

This is a 100% volunteer event! However there are many costs associated with providing a meal to 800 + community members. Donations to offset costs and to support the Franklin County Hunger Task Force will be gratefully received both before and at the supper. Checks should be written to Stone Soup Cafe c/o All Souls Church, PO Box 542, Greenfield, MA 01302. Please note Free Harvest Supper in the memo line.

We are so excited for this year’s event – we hope you can join us and have a great evening on the green in Greenfield.

The Stone Soup Café to lead the Free Harvest Supper in 2017!

The Stone Soup Café has decided to take the lead in reviving the Free Harvest Supper. Executive Chef, Kirsten Levitt and Executive Director, Willow Ross are collaborating with the community to make this beloved event happen once again. We are looking for volunteers to help. If interested, please contact Shirley Holmes at Redheadedgirl19@yahoo.com

11th Annual Greenfield Free Harvest Supper WILL go on!

Due to an outpouring of support and new volunteer organizers, there will be another Free Harvest Supper this year.

This year we need more RESTAURANTS/CATERERS/CHEFS to step forward to create dishs of local food.

Save the date, bring your appetite, and pack a reuseable place setting! The 11th Annual Free Harvest Supper is set to take place on Sunday, August 23th, 2014 from 4:30-6:30pm on the Greenfield Town Common/Court Square.

The evening will feature a bountiful free meal of locally grown food prepared by locally based chefs, live music, children’s activities, educational displays, and the hugely successful “Really, Really Free Market” where all are welcome to bring home produce from the season’s overflow donated by farmers and gardeners. Make new friends and enjoy fresh and delicious appetizers while you wait for your meal, all made possible by a large crew of enthusiastic volunteers and organizers, and the community itself.

With two months to go, the organizational committee is working hard to bring this event together and they need your help! We are currently looking for folks to help with planning and food coordination, as well as people who can help set up, serve, staff the recycling/composting area, and clean up at the Supper.

To volunteer: Contact Adelle Ferreira at acferreira1@verizon.net

To create a dish, donate food, or provide display materials: Contact info@freeharvestsupper.org

To make donations: Send checks made out to “Center for Self-Reliance” to Dino Schnelle, Center for Self-Reliance Food Pantry, 3 1/2 Osgood St., Greenfield, MA 01301. Please note “Free Harvest Supper” on the check. For more information about the Center for Self-Reliance and the Greenfield Farmers’ Market Coupon Project, call (413)773-5029

Get Ready for the 2014 Free Harvest Supper

Save the date, bring your appetite, and pack a reuseable place setting! The Tenth Annual Free Harvest Supper is set to take place on Sunday, August 17th, 2014 from 4:30-6:30pm on the Greenfield Town Common/Court Square.

The evening will feature a bountiful free meal of locally grown food prepared by locally based chefs, live music, children’s activities, educational displays, and the hugely successful “Really, Really Free Market” where all are welcome to bring home produce from the season’s overflow donated by farmers and gardeners. Make new friends and enjoy fresh and delicious appetizers while you wait for your meal, all made possible by a large crew of enthusiastic volunteers and organizers, and the community itself.

With two months to go, the organizational committee is working hard to bring this event together and they need your help! We are currently looking for folks to help with planning and food coordination, as well as people who can help set up, serve, staff the recycling/composting area, and clean up at the Supper.

To volunteer: Contact Adelle Ferreira at acferreira1@verizon.net

To donate food or provide display materials: Contact info@freeharvestsupper.org

To make donations: Send checks made out to “Center for Self-Reliance” to Dino Schnelle, Center for Self-Reliance Food Pantry, 3 1/2 Osgood St., Greenfield, MA 01301. Please note “Free Harvest Supper” on the check. For more information about the Center for Self-Reliance and the Greenfield Farmers’ Market Coupon Project, call (413)773-5029