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Saint John's Soup Kitchen

P.O. Box 200147
22 Mulberry Street
Newark, NJ 07102-5202

973-623-0822

A Young Person's Perspective

Posted Wed, Oct 9th, 2013 By mstrader News

Before we got on the train, I was wondering what it is like to be on a soup kitchen line, waiting to be fed and having no place to go afterward. I felt lucky not to be on of those people. Then I hopped on the train and the ride seemed like hours. Every stop taking over one hundred hours for the people to get on. Finally, I heard the words, "Attention all passengers, we are arriving in Newark, New Jersey."

In my mind I thought "We're finally here!" I was so excited because I was the second one in my family to go. When we got off my back felt like 1,000 blades were stabbing it the whole way there. Also, I didn't have a single thing for breakfast so I was starving. I was chewing on my shirt without even noticing it. The first words I said when I entered the soup kitchen were, "Where's the food?" All I could smell was salt, chili, and vegetables. My nose was in good-smell heaven but all I could see was and old wooden stair case that led to my grandpa's office. However, when I entered the kitchen, I felt like I was in an actual restaurat kitchen. Technically, I was.

Then I heard the sounds of people cracking joke and talking about the game that was on last night, and how they are going on vacation over the weekend. Then I was introduced to the people who worked ther. I remember Nick, Matt, Eloy, Mike, Lou, Richie, and Barbara.

By the time I had eaten some breakfast, it was time to serve the homeless their breakfast. PB&J and bologna sandwiches. "Kind of a weird breakfast," I thought to myself. Truthfully, it's what the homeless people look forward to. I felt upset that those poor people not only have no money but the have no families to look forward to coming home to. They lost their jobs, their homes, and their money, everything you need in life. Their lives will never be the same. "What a bad way to have to live," I said out loud but to no one.

After breakfast I started sorting clothes out. The group were kids, adults, sizes and gender. That took me about one hour just to organize it all, and I'm not that good at organizing. I couldn't imagine what it must feel like to have to get your clothes from a pile of stuff the someone else has thrown out. I hope I never find out.

Then lunchtime came around and I got paired up with Dennis. He was probably the nicest guy there beside Nick and Richie. He helped me, told me what to do, and even told me joke. The food as St. John's soup kitchen is delicious. Even though the homeless people don't have anything, at least they have a good meal.

At the end of the day I learned that most of the people on the food line at St. John's are there because of drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and mental illness. I learned that one bad decision can change you whole life. Drugs are a terrible thing. Never do them. But you never know, will you make a mistake and say yes? Come to St. John's to realize why you should say no.

-Kenny Blake
October 3, 2013

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