for Homeless America

Dinner at Six

Our gift to soup kitchens, food pantries, and care providers

Dinner at Six: Voices from the Soup Kitchen

As a Foundation, we are dedicated to giving back to the community; to support the good work of those who are on the front lines of the fight to end hunger and homelessness. We do this by distributing, free of charge, Hudson's seminal work, Dinner at Six: Voices from the Soup Kitchen. To date, the campaign has been utilized by over one hundred organizations across the country and has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the hungry and homeless.

Originally penned in the 1990s when Hudson worked at a soup kitchen, this collection of interviews of homeless women and men is a testament to the courage of real lives lived under challenging circumstances. Recounted with Hudson's deep respect, their stories were left unvarnished, their voices allowed to stay raw, honest, and full of impact.

In 2002, Hudson and family decided to print and distribute the book themselves, not as a commercial venture, but as a vehicle to raise funds for those who work in the field and to sensitize the public and raise awareness of the issues. The stories had power. They spoke the truth. They help dismantle the stereotypes and prejudices by putting the reader in touch with real lives of real people.

That same year, the family launched the "Dinner at Six" campaign, donating copies of the book to qualified soup kitchens and related organizations across America. This allowed the recipients to sell the books and keep all proceeds to help fund their outreach programs.

Some of the book campaign's accomplishments include:

  • The University of Connecticut, Colby College (ME), Saint Joseph's College (ME), and numerous other institutions of learning have used Dinner at Six as a textbook in their sociology classes.

  • Liberty Community Services (New Haven, CT) partnered with us to raise over $5,000 to assist the homeless in their outreach programs. The Community Soup Kitchen (New Haven, CT) brought in over $6,000 through book sales.

  • The soup kitchen run by St. Paul/St. James (CT) raised enough money through book sales to purchase a new commercial stove.

  • Three Whole Foods Markets in Rhode Island, in collaboration with a Providence Library, raised $1,000 to help feed families who live below the poverty line.

  • Our partnership with Brooklyn (the Broadway Musical) raised nearly $12,000 for local charities during its six-city tour, which included Hartford, CT; Atlanta, GA; San Jose, CA; and Dallas, TX.

  • Dinner at Six has been sent to congressmen, senators and governors to help educate them about the realities of hunger and homelessness in America.

We are currently reaching out to new venues across the country who might be interested in using our program. If you are a related organization and want to find out more, please fill out the form below.

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“My hope is that this book may encourage others to consider, with understanding and compassion, the many men, women and children who are hungry and homeless in this, the richest country in the world.”
— Helen Hudson