Feed ’em Soup hosts community meals


Feed ’em Soup, 122 S. First St., will hold a free community meal from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The charity will serve meatloaf, corn casserole and mashed potatoes to all attendees, according to its website.

The food is free, but the meal isn’t only for the impoverished.

“A family came in and the little girl said to her parents ‘I don’t [think] we can afford to eat here,’” said Randi Ackland, Feed ’em Soup executive director.

The organization has been holding community meals two or three times a month since 2010.

“There’s not registration, there’s no ID checks, we don’t check your pay stubs, you don’t have to qualify through the state for anything,” said Derek Gibbs, marketing and brand director of Feed ’em Soup. “We do have both the haves and have-nots that come and have dinner with us. Those that can’t afford it don’t pay a penny.”

The organization started out as a cafeteria-style soup kitchen but evolved into a community restaurant, Gibbs said. Donations are accepted but not required. Donation cans are set on each of the tables.

Volunteers bring the meals to the tables.

“We are providing people with an experience that they don’t normally get,” Ackland said.

Volunteers of all ages, who sign up at the website, help run the restaurant. People can sign up to help with as many meals as they want to. The management tries to be attentive to their volunteers.

“Some people want to do dishes, some people don’t, so we give them a choice,” said founding volunteer Todd Busch, “When they’re done at the end of the day, we always ask their opinion.”