For the past 40 years, staff and volunteers at Cathedral Kitchen (CK) have been serving up hope to the people of Camden, a city where about 39 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. It started with volunteers serving sandwiches on church steps. Today CK offers daily nutritious meals in its dining room to anyone who is hungry, as well as meals for after-school programs, and free “groceries” at two low-income senior centers. A Culinary Arts Training program was launched in 2009 and in 2015 a Baking Arts Training program was added, allowing the organization to train 60 students a year to enter and excel in food industry jobs. In 2015, CK purchased and renovated a building next door which has become a social enterprise that generates income to support human services programs and to employ CK graduates and Camden residents. The new initiative includes a contract meal program that prepares 1,600 meals a day for the residents of local shelters and halfway houses and a cheerful neighborhood café offering lunch to the public, as well as catering services. Cathedral Kitchen stands as a beacon for the destitute, the unemployed and the working poor.
In April of 2016, CK marked its 40th anniversary at an afternoon event for those whose loyal support has helped the organization broaden its reach and deepen its impact. The leadership staff wanted a way to celebrate this milestone while at the same time capturing stories from some of its most important stakeholders: dinner guests, staff, alumni and friends.
CK stakeholders have stories to tell about how the organization has changed their lives – stories of personal transformation. CK identified 12 interview subjects: CK’s Founder, Executive Director, Chef, a board member, former employees, a culinary arts graduate; a volunteer, a dentist with the clinic, and frequent dinner guests.
CK provided archival photographs taken over the years that captured signature moments in the organizations history.
Through sound editing, selection of music and sound mixing, I produced the audio which served as the foundation for an audio-slideshow, subsequently hosted on Vimeo and later posted to CK’s website. Three (3) three-minute audio vignettes were also produced for use on the organization’s website featuring the meal program, job training and dental care.
At CK’s 40th anniversary event, cheers and clapping broke out spontaneously as the various speakers were introduced through the video. “It was like revisiting the past,” said some of CK’s longtime supporters, and a peak into the past for those who have become involved more recently. The video will be used to introduce new corporate partners to the organization and during orientation for new employees.
“Barbara was able to take 40 years of history and many hours of recorded interviews and make a concise and very moving piece to document Cathedral Kitchen’s milestone. Her compassion for others, combined with her professional approach and skillful technique, made her the perfect person to help tell our story.”
Colleen Rini, Director of Development, Cathedral Kitchen