Established in 1992, the Soup Kitchen In Provincetown (SKIP) provides a hot, nourishing lunch to Outer Cape Cod residents, November through April, Monday through Friday. Lunch is served from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm on weekdays at the Provincetown United Methodist Church, 20 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown.
SKIP serves over 125 meals a day, over 15,000 meals each season, to residents who are either in need or seek community during the long, wintertime months. The lack of proper nutrition is a serious problem for many in this area, affecting both seniors on fixed incomes, and the workers facing seasonal unemployment caused by the tourist economy. The warm, sociable atmosphere of the dining room can also be as nourishing as the meal itself.
SKIP has expanded its services to include “to-go” meals for weekends, homeless-prevention assistance, nutrition counseling and health monitoring. It gives its office every Thursday to a representative of the Homeless Prevention Council who offers housing assistance to anyone in need from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm. SKIP also participates in a twice-monthly nutrition program with The Lower Cape Outreach Council and the Barnstable County Public Health Nurses on the second and fourth Friday of each month.
Our Mission is threefold
To provide nutritious meals in a welcoming environment open to all
To provide a sense of community to those experiencing isolation during the resort community’s long off-season
Where possible, provide formal and informal referrals for a range of social services, including—but not limited to—housing and mental health.
SKIP does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or sexual orientation in any of its activities or operations and is not affiliated with any religion or political organization.
HISTORY OF SKIP
Rev. Robert Hadley came to the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House (UU) in the early 1990s after successfully starting soup kitchens in previous churches he served. Rev. Hadley had a strong vision for our small community and with UU members Ed. Duff, Jan Ranken, Ginnine Principe, Brenda Haywood and others, he introduced Soup Kitchen in Provincetown (SKIP) at the UU in 1992.
In the beginning guest numbers were small, but word of SKIP’s food ministry spread quickly under new minister Rev. Jennifer Justice. The small kitchen at the UU became insufficient to provide the daily meals. SKIP then moved to the Church of St. Mary of the Harbor in the east end of town under Rev. Andrew Barasda, Jr. Diana Hardy then became involved and remains a SKIP volunteer today, 26 years later.
When SKIP outgrew the space at St. Mary’s, it relocated temporarily to St. Peter the Apostle Church. It later moved to the Provincetown United Methodist Church on Shank Painter Road, where it continues to operate today.
Many volunteers contributed to SKIP’s success. Debbie Estevez began volunteering during SKIP’s early days at the UU. SKIP operated on a shoestring budget, but the volunteers did their best to provide a hot bowl of soup and a sandwich. Debbie said that “the soup kitchen was filling much more than stomachs...it was filling souls.” Other volunteers during those early years were Dennis Rhodes and Dale Szczech. In the years that followed, volunteers and board members included Betty Villari, Joe Alleva and Daniel Elias, SKIP’s current chairman.
Thank you to Rev. Brenda Haywood, Kathryn Livelli and Diana Hardy for their recollections of SKIP history. Please contact SKIP if you can add to our story.