Mission and Values

Our mission is to create a community space where all are welcome to share nourishment, connection, and learning for body, mind, and spirit.

In order to ensure that the Café’s mission and vision are fulfilled its founders identified their core values and implemented them. Every board, committee, and staff meeting begins with our reminding ourselves of the following:

  • Three Peacemaker Tenets: Openness: letting go of fixed ideas, so that I may, Bear witness: to the joy and suffering of the world, in order to facilitate the emergence of Loving actions: that heal myself and others.

  • The Four Agreements: Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best.

These mentor statements aided in the formation of our core operating values at the Café. The staff and board of directors affirm and promote core values that ensure that all people are valued.

At the Café, we know that all people are striving to do their best and that we are always a work in progress. Through our sharing and connections, we learn about one another. Through our communication we create relationships. We treat one another with respect and compassion when discussing challenging issues. We resolve to try again when we fall short.

2022 Annual Report

Fostering a Sense of Belonging

There are so many forms of oppression to acknowledge in order for us to get on with the work of belonging and being together and recognizing our interconnectedness.

Grief Acknowledgement

Let’s acknowledge the inhumanity of slavery and the violence that colonialism and white supremacy continue to act upon all of our bodies, especially those that are marginalized.

So much has been stolen from enslaved people and the original Nipmuc, Pocumtuc, and Wabanaki confederacy people. Labor. Land. Language. Ceremony. Food. Education. Housing. Healthcare. Governance. Medicines. Kinship. Humanity.

This is only a first step in acknowledging that we must work to heal and repair our community as we co-create for belonging.

Commitment to Antiracism

As a Café Volunteer or supporter, it is essential that you understand Stone Soup's commitment to 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 any mistakes we make along the way.

We encourage you to engage in this work with us!

Land Acknowledgement

“When we talk about land, land is part of who we are. It’s a mixture of our blood, our past, our current, and our future. We carry our ancestors in us, and they’re around us.”

—Mary Lyons (2019) (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe), The Native Governance Center

We acknowledge, in our own imperfect way, that The Stone Soup Café is located on the ancestral homelands of the Nipmuc, Pocumtuc, and Wabanaki Confederacy.

The history of Native Americans is our shared history and a vital part of American history, and we can learn from it together. It is a living and evolving story of resistance, resilience, economic strength, and cultural revitalization. It is also a painful history of wrongdoing and loss.

Stone Soup Café recognizes that a brutal process of genocide and land grabbing is an undeniable part of our history. We understand that colonialism, racism, and capitalism intertwine in a harmful vicious cycle.

We are implicated in that harm unless we work to undo it. We continue to look to Indigenous communities for other ways to show up and follow their lead. This, too, is a part of our antiracism work.

It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to reside on this land and to seek to understand your place within that history.

Who are your people? Who claims you? What land do your people come from?

Gender Inclusivity

At Stone Soup Café we strive to be a fully inclusive organization where everyone belongs and can participate fully. The Café knows that using an individual's chosen pronouns demonstrates solidarity and respect for who each person is. Each community member is encouraged to state their pronouns on their nametags if they choose. We will re-direct, educate, and support those who have difficulty acclimating to this practice.

What does it mean to be a Pay-What-You-Can Café?

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. We are 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 that 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 of food" can participate in our community Café, which simply isn't true. The PWYC model invites us all to participate at any 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.

Our Core Values

Our Café Promotes & Affirms These Core Values In All We Do

Using Right Speech
Connection & Learning