Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Local Service Spotlight: The Mustard Seed

If someone asked you where they could grab a hot meal, what would your answer be? Most of us have a home, a kitchen, a refrigerator full of food. But there are many homeless adults and youth who struggle to get a good meal each day.

One of the main requests we get as an organization is for food bags. Our counselors carry around backpacks full of these food bags on outreach night. What do our food bags consist of? Chef Bouyerdee, a Fruit Box, Water, Chips, and maybe a fruit bowl. One food bag may be good for a youth to have when nothing else is available but we really don't want the kids living off the contents of these food bags on a continous basis.

Thankfully, Worcester has a wide array of food pantries. Worcester also has a long running soup kitchen called the Mustard Seed.

What's a soup kitchen?
A soup kitchen, or a free meal program, allows people to come in from the cold and have a warm, cooked meal.

How does the Mustard Seed operate?
When you enter the Mustard Seed, it is one big open room with several tables and chairs. The meals come from local community organizations and churches. Volunteers from the Worcester community (college students, church members, etc.) arrive each night to set up, serve dinner, and clean up afterwards.

Where is the Mustard Seed located?
The Mustard Seed is located at 93 Piedmont Street in Worcester at the corner of Austin and Piedmont. Don't go looking for a building. This soup kitchen is quite literally a house with a sprawling lawn. During the nice weather, there are picnic tables outside where people can sit and enjoy their dinners.

When are meals served?
Supper is Monday through Saturday from 4:00 to 6:30 during the winter and 5:00 to 6:30 during the summer. There is also lunch served on Sundays at noon.

The Mustard Seed is one of many places a homeless youth can get a free meal in Worcester. If for some reason the hours at the Mustard Seed don't work out or a youth needs breakfast or lunch, we have a two page list of options.

There's no reason anyone should go hungry. To start learning what options are out there, check out the Worcester Resources website ( It's good to be aware of the local food pantries and soup kitchens in your area. You just never know when or why you'll need to know about such services.

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