Every Wednesday throughout the year, a meal is served at The Shore Line Soup Kitchen Clinton site – the United Methodist Church. On average 50 meals are served weekly. Rotating with other area churches and civic organizations, First Church hosts the meal 10 times each year. Kathleen and Jim Davidson coordinate the soup kitchen for our church and are grateful for the crew members (veteran and new) who help out with serving the meals and leading the teams.
The experience of helping out at the soup kitchen is rewarding for many reasons - it is a simple way to give back to someone who needs a meal, parents bring their children assuring they will have a nutritious dinner, the working poor attend and…we do not ask for residence information so all who come are served. We have quite a special group who come to help out – most are members of our church but some are from other churches as well. The leader for the night is responsible for coordinating our efforts and, although this is a serious commitment to our community, we do enjoy ourselves and leave with a feeling of having made someone’s life a bit better by volunteering.
Kathleen and Jim have been trying to make it easier for members to help out with the soup kitchen in various roles – helping with cooking meals, participating in serving meals or leading at the kitchen. One successful way we have done this is through “cook-offs- this year we had 1 in October with @ 15 members helping out. We made 3 different home cooked meals - macaroni/cheese/ham, turkey tetrazzini, chicken and wild rice and a dessert of peach cobbler.
We have discovered a new resource of ordering food for the soup kitchen directly from the Shoreline Soup Kitchen/Pantry, at no cost to our church. A special thank-you to Betty Rice who has continued to keep our church pantry well stocked with food items from the Shoreline Pantry. This has been especially important as budgets becoming tighter and our Missions Committee provides the monetary support needed for the Soup Kitchen. We estimate that the cost of preparing meals at our cook-off, supplemented with Pantry donations, has been @$1.34 per person this year. In 2015 we will plan ahead to place orders with the Shoreline Pantry which could further reduce our costs. In addition we have 5 meals already prepared for the next 5 soup kitchen meals. More than providing nutritious and healthy meals, the soup kitchen ministry offers welcome, acceptance, and fellowship to all who attend the meals.