Stone Soup Café
Stone Soup Café can accept donations of sealed, unused, in-date, dry goods except for bulk wheat/gluten products. They can also accept produce, proteins, eggs, and dairy items, so long as they have been stored/refrigerated properly and are in good condition.
One-time donations are accepted. Please call ahead about larger donations.
Stone Soup Café celebrated its 10th birthday in June of 2022. Our organization consists of three central programs: a Pay-What-You-Can Community Meal, a Free Store, and a Culinary Institute. We are located in Greenfield, MA, and serve the geographic region of Franklin County, which occupies a land area of 702 square miles in the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts. Franklin County is the most rural county in western Massachusetts. Greenfield has been designated as a Federal Opportunity Zone because it is a community struggling to overcome high levels of poverty and limited access to opportunity. The following paragraphs provide more details about our three central programs.
Our Community Meal provides access through curbside and delivery service to delicious, nutritious, scratch-cooked, balanced meals every Saturday to any and all of our community members on a pay-what-you-can basis. In 2022, we served an average of 1863 meals per month to an average of 163 households per month. Our menus cater to a variety of dietary needs and cultural cuisines with vegetarian, vegan, or meat selections. These weekly meals are prepared, served, delivered and enjoyed by volunteers from our neighborhoods and schools. Stone Soup is committed to breaking down social barriers like class, race, ability and age, in order to create a beloved community and build solidarity. We partner with myriad Franklin County farms and businesses to source and glean fresh, local, produce and ingredients for our meals. Reducing waste, strengthening regional food systems, and improving equitable access to healthy and high quality food are some of our highest priorities. We are also a member agency of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
Our Community Free Store, an emergency curbside food pantry, was created at the prompting of our guests during the onset of the pandemic. Since then it has grown steadily, and demand for this service remains high as families struggle with inflated food and gas prices. Every Saturday, our Free Store provides between 80-110 households with weekly access to groceries, produce, and personal care items at no charge to them. We use our same previously mentioned network of local partners to source items to offer our guests at the Free Store. In addition to food, Stone Soup is a hub of information about community services and resources. We host weekly art exhibits, guest tablers, and musical performances.
In 2022, with support from the State of Massachusetts, Stone Soup created a Culinary Institute program (SSCI). Stone Soup Culinary Institute strives to offer more equitable access to career training and economic opportunity to people seeking a new career path, especially those who are seeking employment after a period of incarceration or recovery from addiction. SSCI formalizes the decade of experience that the Café has in training volunteers to carry out the fundamentals of food preparation into a free 12-week course. Applicants who are accepted into the program attend tuition free and leave with a Food Handlers License, a ServSafe Certificate in Kitchen Management, job skills, practicum experience, and references for securing work in the vibrant and emerging food culture here in Franklin County.