An agreement with Trinity Episcopal Church transfers Soup Kitchen operations to New Bethany.
New Bethany Ministries (NBM), a local nonprofit providing basic-need services, housing, and support that lift individuals out of poverty, announced that it will oversee and manage Trinity Soup Kitchen food service operations at Trinity Episcopal Church on East Market Street in Bethlehem. The transition comes as a result of the mutual vision and goals of service to the community maintained by both Trinity Church and NBM which prompted a close working relationship at a time when NBM sought to expand its services in the North Bethlehem area.
New Bethany’s food services, which continue to expand to meet the needs of those who are served, and Trinity Episcopal Church’s Soup Kitchen are closely related, both having been organized as singular interfaith ministries in the 1980s to meet increased local needs after major layoffs at Bethlehem Steel. With the help of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem and support from the City of Bethlehem, New Bethany formed as an independent agency in March 1985. Trinity Soup Kitchen continued as a grant-funded operation through Trinity Episcopal Church.
“New Bethany has proudly integrated Trinity Soup Kitchen into our services and we are gratified to reach more people in the Lehigh Valley. By extending our work into North Bethlehem, we are following our strategic plan and have the opportunity to greatly increase our impact on the community,” said Marc Rittle, Executive Director, NBM. “While New Bethany has the capacity to sustain Trinity operations in the short term, this project will ultimately need to be the result of new philanthropy.”
Trinity’s rector, The Rev. Dr. Pamela Payne commented, “We are delighted that the Trinity Soup Kitchen will continue as a service of NBM, and that our church’s legacy for serving the food-insecure on the northside of Bethlehem will continue with our mutual agreement and continued support. It is an ideal match so that services may continue in our part of Bethlehem.”
This agreement was underwritten by the Synergy Fund, a partnership between United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and Lehigh Valley Community Foundation that promotes and supports nonprofit mergers to ensure the project is viable and agreeable for all parties.
Trinity Soup Kitchen operates 12 noon – 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, offering lunch for take-out during the pandemic.
“Thanks to New Bethany’s assumption of Trinity Soup Kitchen, Northside Bethlehem residents will continue to have increased access to vital services, especially meal assistance,” said Laura Stoudt, Northside Services Coordinator, NBM.