For more information about Soup’s On visit this link: http://www.steinbachsoupson.com/
Part of our mission statement at HyLife says that we take care of our communities. This holiday season we were able to provide a $5,000 donation to Soup’s On Steinbach in support of their School Lunch Program.
Soup’s on Steinbach is a community ministry committed to ensuring that all members of our community might have enough.
We had the chance to hear about Soup’s On & their Lunch Program from Founder & Manager, Joy Neufeld.
“We offer two suppers a week to people living in poverty – no questions asked, no strings attached,” began Neufeld. “One Tuesday evening in July of 2004, shortly after the soup kitchen opened, I met a child who changed my life and the direction of Soup’s On. She came back for her second helping of supper and commented she was so hungry as this was the first time she was eating that day. That was the beginning of the School Lunch Program.”
Over the years, Soup’s On, together with schools in southeast Manitoba, have developed a supportive environment for students who might otherwise go without a breakfast and lunch.
“Schools are accountable to identify the students that need our support as best they can,” adds Neufeld. “It is an honour to work together with the amazing teachers and other school admin in the Hanover School Division. Poverty is a very complicated issue, but feeding a child isn’t. Or at least it shouldn’t be.”
The onset of COVID-19 was challenging for Soup’s On as their team had to develop a new way to serve their neighbours. Suppers were sent home in to-go containers and a little more care and effort went into how they sent supplies to schools. Since March, Soup’s On has served over 7,000 meals in to-go containers. Joy & her volunteers currently prepare for 225 meals each week. If there happens to be leftovers, it is only enough to cover for the times that they run short.
“The School Lunch Program endured the biggest changes when schools shut down,” says the Soup’s On founder. “Schools communicated to the families participating in the lunch program that they could pick up supplies from the soup kitchen every Tuesday during supper hours. We pack these supplies every Monday morning. Each child receives a week’s worth of lunch supplies as they would if they were in school. When transportation is an issue, these supplies are delivered.”
Physical distancing guidelines affected the number of volunteers that Soup’s On could have in the kitchen at one time. Joy says that it is her priority to keep all volunteers safe.
“For some volunteers that meant they needed to step back and take a break,” she adds.
Joy, and all her Soup’s On volunteers, depend on the generosity and humanity of the community to continue and expand their work. She adds that none of what Soup’s On does could be possible if it weren’t for the generosity of the community.
“Thanks to HyLife we could ensure our kids have enough,” says a very thankful Joy. “Enough food, enough acceptance, compassion, and love.”
Joy concluded with the following:
“What can be more gratifying than knowing you have played a major role in assisting families with food insecurity! We have the privilege of ensuring families can have suppers. We also have the privilege of ensuring children can spend their day at school, without fighting hunger! And that, just might leave a lifelong impact on our most vulnerable and one that does not need to end in poverty. On behalf of our kids, thank-you HyLife!”
From HyLife – thank you, Soup’s On, for all that you do in Steinbach & the surrounding community!