Feature Article: What is a Soup Kitchen and What is Usually Served at One?

By Sheila Buck

A soup kitchen is a place where food is served to the hungry for free or for a low price. These kitchens are usually open on week days, but not on weekends. The staff is usually made up of volunteers. They set up the tables and chairs, cook the meals and clean up afterward.

The majority of soup kitchens receive their food from food banks, government commodity distribution programs, community retail outlets and community food drives.  Some offer other services as well, such as community resource referrals, vouchers, school supplies for children and bags of food to send home with individuals.

When the soup kitchens first started, soup and bread were served. Times have changed and they now offer a variety of foods. Some foods that may be served at your local soup kitchen include:

  • Pasta and sauce
  • Different breads
  • Soups and stews
  • Fresh or canned fruits
  • Fresh or canned vegetables
  • Casseroles
  • Milk, coffee and juice
  • Turkey with all the fixings (usually for a holiday meal)
  • Chicken
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Pork
  • Roasts
  • Desserts like cookies or cake

If you or your family are having a hard time keeping food in the house, eating at a local soup kitchen a couple of times a week can be helpful. You will receive a nutritious meal in a friendly environment. You can find a soup kitchen in your area by looking in the phone book or searching online. Sometimes there is more than one soup kitchen per area.


Wikipedia: Soup Kitchen

Encyclopedia.com: Soup Kitchens


Sheila Buck is the single mom of two teenage boys. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. Sheila is a freelance writer, and also writes books and short stories in her spare time. Sheila also writes for Frugal is Fabulous!.

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