MIT Students Open Soup Kitchen; Diners Wanted

Alexander R. Moore
Spare Change News

During these difficult economic times, even the most prosperous feel the clutch of despair. It is put on our doorstep then, as humans, to share what wealth we do have with those less fortunate than ourselves. Our duty is to spread happiness; the alternative is to surrender to the strong arm of tribulation. We must search out the goodwill that lies in our hearts and wear it on our sleeves. One man has done just this.

Benjamin Francis, a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has teamed up with St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Central Square, Cambridge, to fight hunger. Food is the most basic and most significant of all human needs. You can have no house, but without food, motivation, physical activity and even thinking become laborious. This organization decided that they would help to feed the less fortunate members of the Cambridge community.

By creating a soup kitchen called Feed the Hungry, Francis and St. Bartholomew’s have joined the ranks of local benefactors. The homeless issue in Greater Boston is formidable; however, Francis and his compatriots are steadfast. “Our short-term goal is to provide a warm meal every week to everyone in the area who needs it. Our overarching goal is to create an employment opportunities program for those in need of work.”

A daunting task, but not impossible. They have made significant progress towards their goals and are continually moving toward loftier ambitions.

There are over 40 volunteers at the Feed the Hungry operation, consisting of students from MIT Hillel, three MIT fraternities (Zeta Psi, Sigma Nu, and Phi Kappa Sigma ), and others who joined after hearing about the project by word of mouth and through the media. So far there are only five patrons; far more people will be served once word of the soup kitchen gets out.

Open on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, the soup kitchen provides meals during a time of the week when no one else does. Anticipating up to 50 patrons a week, Feed the Hungry hopes to expand further, eventually developing into an official student group called MIT Feed the Hungry.

The people who are involved with this program want it to succeed: the student volunteers, the staff at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, the MIT staff members, and especially the chef—who is actually a patron himself. With over 300 homeless individuals in Cambridge, the presence of another helping hand brings more hope the homeless sector.

As Benjamin Francis says, “When you see a way to help, why not carry it out?” The problem of homelessness is a serious one. Why not rally to Feed the Hungry’s cry? The movement to help the needy can only be powered by us. But it can also be overlooked by us. Let us banish apathy and move into action.

If you would like to provide your support to Feed the Hungry by volunteering or donating, please contact Benjamin Francis at:

ALEXANDER R. MOORE is a writer and a student at Bunker Hill Community College.

Photos/Kalixu/Mit News



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