Mission

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

Vision

Our vision is to nourish our community with healthy food, sustainable systems, responsive mutual aid programs, creativity, and a vibrant culture of belonging.

Values

At the Café, we work hard to embody the Three Peacemaker Tenets adapted from the Zen Peacemakers. These tenets were first developed and articulated by one of the original founders of Stone Soup Café, Bernie Glassman, in 1994.

  1. Openness: letting go of fixed ideas about yourself and others.

  2. Bearing Witness: to the joy and suffering of the world.

  3. Loving Action: a commitment to heal oneself and the world.

As members of this organization, we also are inspired by and do our best to commit to The Four Agreements:

  1. Be impeccable with your word. Be kind, clear, truthful, and timely with your words.

  2. Don’t take anything personally. Stay curious and be grateful for growth opportunities.

  3. Don’t make assumptions. Reflect on what you know and don’t know: ask questions!

  4. Always do your best. Show up to help the team.

The Four Agreements were created by Don Miguel Ruiz, a writer and renowned spiritual teacher. They are based on the wisdom of the Toltecs, an indigenous people of Mexico who preceded the Aztecs.

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.

Strategic Goals

1) Nurture our Growth: Secure a new location to call home so that we can offer in-person dining again and expand our services. The Café will be open at least 5-days a week to nourish our neighbors on a pay-what-you-can basis.

2) Strengthen our Network: Collaborate with partner agencies to fill gaps in our local food systems and provide nutritious meals with love and dignity across all income levels.

3) Develop New Programming: Expand our culture of belonging by offering culinary, social justice, art, and wellness programming. Diversify our workshop offerings.

4) Invest in People: Develop our leadership capacity to sustain growth, support volunteers, and transition into our new space.

2023 Annual Report

Gratitude Report 2023 by stone soup

There are many different ways to pay for your lunch. You can pay anything from $0 to $100 for your meal -- no questions asked -- or donate your time and talent to the Café.

Our Pay-What-You-Can model relies on connection, relationship-building, and trust to succeed! It invites us all to participate at any level in which we can.

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.

Our Core Values

Inclusiveness
Relationship
Respect
Sharing
Dignity
Compassion
Mindfulness
Kindness
Empathy
Using Right Speech
Connection & Learning
Openness