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Soup Kitchen puts out call for volunteers

Soup Kitchen puts out call for volunteers

June 19th, 2014 in News

Yvonne Somersall of Fulton hands a plate of ham, potatoes and cheese, sliced bread, carrots and cookies to a Fulton Soup Kitchen patron Wednesday inside the John C. Harris Community Center. Somersall and Jennifer Eldringhoff of Fulton were the two volunteers serving that evening. The Fulton Soup Kitchen is currently looking for more volunteers.

Photo by Brittany Ruess

Organizers of Fulton's Soup Kitchen are looking for help serving meals.

Noting that the soup kitchen has always been a collaborative community effort, president Anne Erbschloe said there is a need for help preparing, serving and cleaning up after meals.

The kitchen provides a hot meal to anyone that needs it from 5-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Erbschloe said help is needed on the first Monday and Wednesday and the fourth Wednesday of the month.

With an average of 65 people showing up for dinner each night, preparation and cooking usually starts at 3 p.m. The meal is served 5-6 p.m. and Erbschloe said cleanup can usually be done by 6:30 p.m. The food is provided by the Soup Kitchen.

Longtime volunteer Connie Cashion said some groups have one or two people come in early to cook and then a couple shifts of workers to set up, serve and clean up the meal.

"It's however that group wants to do it," Cashion said.

Both Erbschloe and Cashion said working with the Soup Kitchen has been rewarding.

"A lot of these people don't have squat. This helps them stretch whatever they do have to the end of the month," Erbschloe said. "I don't like to think of somebody not having something to eat."

Cashion said some of the Soup Kitchen clients have told her that dinner at the Soup Kitchen is their only meal of the day.

"It really shouldn't be that way," Erbschloe said.

According to Cashion, food isn't the only service provided by the Soup Kitchen.

"The Soup Kitchen gives hope. It's not just the food, it's the camaraderie - this is a family," Cashion said.

In addition to volunteers, the women said the Soup Kitchen can always use donations of items like paper towels, food storage bags, napkins, dish soap, Styrofoam plates, spices and fresh produce.

"We try to use everything we get," Erbschloe said. "We really do appreciate all the support we get from the community."

Cashion agreed that the soup kitchen is "really blessed" by community support.

"Together we make a strong bond and we're able to do so much," she said. "It takes all of us, we need everybody."

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Erbschloe at (573) 220-2450. Donations can be brought to the John C. Harris Community Center. Monetary support can also be sent to P.O. Box 951, Fulton, Mo. 65251.

Katherine Cummins can be reached at (573) 826-2418 or katherine@fultonsun.com.