ENDING HOMELESSNESS: Local NJ businessman and celebrated culinary expert is taking food service to a whole new level.


He calls his commitment to NJ homeless “Heart. Smart.” and for good reason…

When local entrepreneur and celebrated chef Bob Harre said yes to an invitation to volunteer at Atlantic City Rescue Mission he had no idea where that doorway would go. Then this 30-year culinary veteran remembered a principal he picked up from his alma mater the Academy of Culinary Arts that we don’t serve ourselves, we serve the community and volunteering is a key to understanding why we do what we do.

On his first visit to Atlantic City Rescue Mission, Bob saw the numbers of people that were being serving and learned how we try to nourish the mind, body and spirit. But while the Mission did an adequate job with aging food preparation equipment, he knew it could not provide the efficiencies or the ability to contain all the natural nutrients during food preparation that modern equipment offered. In addition, the archaic and inefficient equipment did not allow the Mission to make ample use of the food donations.

That’s when he got the idea to sponsor a donation for a commercial Food Braiser.

“It’s all about preparing large volumes of food efficiently. But it also improves the preparation by preventing natural vitamins and minerals from getting lost in the cooking process... and nutrition is something the economically disadvantaged really need."

This upgraded cooking process in turn opens up more many recipe opportunities that the inefficient cooking equipment was limiting the Mission’s kitchen staff so we could introduce more healthy menu options.

The most exciting thing would be for our client-run kitchen staff to ultimately be learning modern, commercial, food preparation in professional kitchen environment. "That’s the goal" said the Rescue Mission's President, “creating real-world experiences that translate into future job opportunities for these people in a professional kitchen.”

When Bob Harre heard about the Mission's work-readiness vision, he sponsored the drive to introduce a Food Braiser into the Mission’s kitchen.  As a first step, the Braiser cooking is in most professional kitchens today and it replaces the heavy demand on big grill ovens and soup kettle in that it provides continuous heat on all sides and top… not just from that bottom. This efficient cooking method allows you to prepare larger volumes of food faster but that’s only the beginning. This multiple heating system allows the natural nutrients of vegetables, and protein based ingredients to get locked during the preparation with relatively no loss during the cooking process. 

The Mission has a profound spiritual vision for helping one-another said Harre. When I met their Director, one of the first things he said to me was that “most people believe in a three-strike system for the lowly of society. I believe in giving people nine innings. Sure there are ups and downs’ in the game of life but what matters is the final score in the final inning.  Shouldn’t we give people who are trying to figure their life out more chances than we give professional baseball players?”

“That stuck with me “said Bob and he got to thinking about the Mission's goals for rebuilding the human spirit and training people with employable job skills might be a great place to utilize his skills and experience. “I love the Work Readiness concept and want to help the Mission create a program in this kitchen that resembles real-world kitchen scenarios. I can only hope others will join me in realizing that vision.  This Braiser is the first component in creating a real professional kitchen for people to train on.  Imagine what it does for the spirit when someone can actually feed himself. That’s what working in a professional kitchen could do… open doors to jobs in the food service industry. "I really hope more people from the business community will look at what this Mission is doing to help the homeless, and positive impact taking place in the community and get involved."

You can join Bob by making a donation in support of the Mission for operational improvments. Contact Dan Brown our CEO to discuss what the current needs are and where you interests might be.

For interviews and quotes please contact relating to this story,

Holly Jennings
609-345-5517 Ext. 11




The Atlantic City Rescue Mission provides the following community services including: Emergency Food, Shelter and Clothing, Street Outreach, Medical Services, Addiction Treatment, Family Life Center, Transitional Housing, Work Readiness, Homeless Prevention Services and Family Economic Intervention support and Housing Locator support.

By working closely with other Public and Private sector resources, Atlantic City Rescue Mission hopes to increase community awareness and support that will greatly reduce the burdens of the economically troubled and homeless.

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