Taste @ Port Jefferson Honors Welcome Friends Soup Kitchen

Soup kitchen
Photo: Ian Allenden/123RF

Fall’s biggest food and wine event—the 2017 Taste @ Port Jefferson—takes place Saturday, October 21 at Harborfront Park, overlooking the waterfront in the historic maritime village. This year’s gathering, hosted by News 12 Long Island’s own Elisa DiStefano and featuring entertainment from Dan’s Best of the Best Hall of Famer New Life Crisis, boasts a lineup of more than 30 restaurants and purveyors serving up pretty much every cuisine you can imagine. Mexican? It’ll be there. Indian? Cuban? Thai? Yes, yes and yes.

In addition to all the top notch food and booze, this year’s Taste @ Port Jefferson will honor a noteworthy staple of the Port Jefferson community: the Welcome Friends Soup Kitchen. For the past 27 years, they’ve been serving citizens in need as “the Welcome INN,” now they’re a newly incorporated nonprofit, still doing the same good work. As they enter this new and exciting phase they vow to continue serving their neighbors in the same caring tradition that has been the hallmark of the soup kitchen.

Marge Tumilowicz, President of Welcome Friends commented, “Welcome Friends looks forward to continuing its mission as a newly independent entity, as we focus our energies on the needs of our guests in the Greater Port Jefferson Community.”

Welcome Friends has built a solid foundation of local community support—including regular donations from local food markets, farm stands, religious institutions, community leaders, local village government and other agencies—ensuring that no person in greater Port Jefferson will go hungry.

The executive committee, the coordinators and their volunteer staff have created a sense of community for neighbors affected by hunger and poverty by serving them with dignity and respect in a safe and hospitable environment.

Welcome Friends—and their generous volunteer staff of 200 unsung heroes—serve anywhere from 50–100 hot and nutritious meals five days a week, year-round throughout Port Jefferson and Port Jefferson Station. “Gratitude cannot be adequately expressed for the encouragement and support that the Port Jefferson community has provided to help our less fortunate neighbors,” Tumilowicz says.

So this weekend, while you’re enjoying the bounty that is the premier fall food and drink event on Long Island—Taste at Port Jefferson—don’t simply raise your glass to the Welcome Friends Soup Kitchen. Also remember the less fortunate. The people, just like you and me, not far away, who rely on the generosity of Welcome Friends and their volunteers for warm meals. Remember they can’t do it alone.

Consider sending a donation to P.O. Box 88 Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776. Better yet, do some good work yourself and make a difference in the lives of others by volunteering. Welcome Friends is currently in need of cooks, drivers and kitchen and volunteer coordinators. If you’re interested, send an email to: [email protected]. It takes a village, as they say.

For more information on Welcome Friends Soup Kitchen visit welcomefriendssoupkitchen.com.


The 10th Annual Taste @ Port Jefferson is Saturday, October 21, at Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson. VIP Early Access begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are $99. General Admission is $65 and includes entry from 7 to 10 p.m. All tickets include all food and drink. Every ticket holder receives free event parking and complimentary shuttle service to and from Harborfront Park. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit TasteAtPortJeff.com. Vendors subject to change. Dan’s Papers is the media sponsor of the 2017 Taste @ Port Jefferson.

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