SOUP KITCHEN

Feeding the need

Donations fuel Soup Kitchen

By Stephen Lamar

stephen.lamar@ardmoreite.com

Every day individuals walk through the doors of the Ardmore Soup Kitchen to receive what could be their only hot meal of the day.

Keeping those doors open takes a lot of community and volunteer support. "It always fluctuates," Rebeca Glaser, Ardmore Soup Kitchen manager, said of donations. "We have a few groups that donate regularly."

Donated food and supplies are an important part of the Soup Kitchen's ability to feed individuals in need in the community, which is a fluid but consistent number of individuals. The doors of the soup kitchen open at 6 p.m. and rotates the soups served each month, with every day of the week in a month having the same soup being served.

Glaser said there are times when food and supply levels get low and the Soup Kitchen has to buy more supplies and ingredients, unless another donation comes in.

"It seems to happen just at the right time," Glaser said. "I can walk in and see the pantry is bare then we'll receive a donation and it's full of food."

Paper products, napkins, bowls, sugar, beans and tomato products are just a few one the ingredients and supplies that the Soup Kitchen needs consistently. Meat donations made to the Soup Kitchen are kept in a freezer and typically last quite a while, Glaser said, noting ingredients like chicken and ground beef can quickly become costly.

Fresh produce, beans and spices are other resources that the Soup Kitchen always needs and can be donated.

Employees at the Southern Oklahoma Technology Center recently made a donation to the Soup Kitchen, after seeing a chance to help out. "When we heard that the supplies for the soup kitchen were low due to lower amounts of donations, Southern Tech knew this was something our staff could do by making donations for the pantry," Jayne Huffman, SOTC assistant superintendent, said. "Our school staff has been very involved in the soup kitchen in Ardmore and we knew this was another way we could show our support."

The Soup Kitche! n started as a food bank created for an Eagle Scout project and has since became a source of hot meals for individuals in the community who otherwise may go hungry.

"For some people it's the only meal they get," Glaser said. "We feed as many people as much as we can."