Soup kitchen welcomes donations

Duane Hicks

Have you held a social function and had leftover sandwiches, cold cuts, and cheese?
What if your garden has yielded more veggies than you could possibly eat?
Don’t let it go to waste–the local soup kitchen would love to have your extra food.
“Loaves and Fishes,” located at the New Beginnings Fellowship (1301 Mill Rd.), serves up free healthy lunches to those in need every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from noon-12:20 p.m.
Being a non-profit community service, the soup kitchen relies solely on donations, said co-ordinator Joy Lockman, and she’s gracious for the support it currently receives from the community.
For example, local grocery stores give them bread and other baking while gardeners and district farmers give them fruits and vegetables.
Recently, the soup kitchen even received a half-side of beef, which amounts to a half-freezer full of stewing meat and hamburger.
Local schools, churches, restaurants, and the seniors’ centre also donate food they have left over from functions, and some individuals have given “Loaves and Fishes” extra food from banquets and funerals.
But not a lot of people know about “Loaves and Fishes.” As such, Lockman wants to let the community know not only is the soup kitchen operating but it could use more food.
“There’s lots of times we know that there’s food going to waste and people didn’t know we existed,” she remarked.
Any business, group, or individual that would like to help out “Loaves and Fishes” is asked to give Lockman a call at 276-6746.
She will take donations of fresh food, as well as non-perishable food items like canned tomatoes and beans.
And she even will come and pick up the food.
In addition to actual food donations, “Loaves and Fishes” welcomes monetary donations to help buy any items they need.
Tom Smith is among those district residents who appreciate “Loaves and Fishes.”
“I always come here every Monday and Wednesday,” he told the Times.
“I come all the way from Northwest Bay just to come in and take part,” he said, adding he’s been doing so for about five years.
Smith said he loves the food the ladies cook up, with some of his favourites being pork chops, hamburgers, and pretty much anything with gravy.
“I always look forward to it,” he remarked.
Smith said he encourages others to not be shy and come out for food and fellowship at “Loaves and Fishes.”
There’s definitely a need for the soup kitchen among local families and individuals, Lockman stressed.
“We’ve got a lot of new faces coming out,” she noted. “It’s amazing the people that are needing help with healthy meals.
“We cook for 25-30 people,” Lockman added. “We don’t always get that many, but I have families we give any of the leftover food to.”
No food goes to waste, assured Lockman, adding patrons can get “take-out” to bring home with them to use to tide them over until the next soup kitchen lunch day.
In addition to herself, Lockman has a team of four regular volunteers who handle the food, do dishes, and wipe tables.
“My volunteers, I couldn’t run without them,” she remarked. “They’re amazing.”