Updated: May 7, 2018
At the Damiano Center we have changed the names of a few of our longest running programs but do not worry, their mission and vision are still the same as they have always been.
After 36 years we have changed the name of the “Soup Kitchen” to the “Community Kitchen”. We decided to do this for a number of reasons. First, there are some negative connotations to the term “soup kitchen”. It is a term that dates from the 18th century that referred to programs that served lower income people soup, thus the name.
While Damiano does serve many low income individuals and while we do, in fact, sometimes serve soup, the term “Community Kitchen” better communicates the ideas that make up our mission than the term “soup kitchen”. These values are respect, compassion, honor, and dignity. We work hard to make the Damiano kitchen a place that is joyful, hopeful, community-building, social, and open to the entire community.
We have also changed our second-longest-running program “Clothing Exchange” to “Free Store”. We have done this because all of our clothes are free and nothing is actually exchanged, except for smiles of course. Many of our guests were already referring to the program as the Free Store and so we thought this change would clarify what the program provides – free items – as well as reinforce a name that was already being used.
Finally, we changed the name of our afterschool program from Kids Café to Kids’ Kitchen. This change is more for copyright reasons as Kids Café is a trademarked name of Feeding America, but we also feel that it truly is a place where kids and teens get to experience healthy food in a community setting.
So as you see, we are sprucing up our names, and all for good reasons, but our mission is and will always be the same. We are strengthening our community and providing essential services to families and individuals who are in need.
Thank you for partnering with us so far on this journey and we look forward to the next 36 years.