Feed’em Soup provides winter clothes for those in need


Randi Kennedy, marketing and management major at Kishwaukee Community College, folds shirts at Feed’Em Soup’s clothing closet at 122 1st Street Wednesday.

By Hailey Kurth

Fighting through a DeKalb winter proves painful in and of itself. Imagine trying to do it without proper clothing.

Feed’em Soup, 122 S. First St., provides a clothing closet for those in need to warm up in the Midwest.

“We have some hats and gloves; we’ve already gone through a lot of them this winter,” said Derek Gibbs , marketing and brand director at Feed’em Soup. “We have a lot of winter coats; about 40ish in stock right now.”

According to the Feed’em Soup website, the clothing closet’s regular operation hours are during meal hours from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Feed’em Soup has decided to add additional hours in January, which included two days this week and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24 and Wednesday Jan. 25, with a meal from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

“We want people to take advantage of the cool stuff we’ve gotten,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs said Feed’em Soup has received many of donations through the holiday season, receiving around 75,000 items from a clothing drive at Sycamore High School and a surplus of clothing from a student-run clothing drive at NIU. Gibbs said Feed’em Soup received name brands for all ages, including Aeropostal and Abercrombie, especially for women and teenage girls.

“We probably have gotten 15,000 individual pieces of clothing for this winter,” Gibbs said, “It’s all really nice stuff, which is awesome.”

Former NIU student Nathan Walters said he teamed up with two NIU graduate students, Brian Montana and Iga Puchalska, to organize a clothing drive. Walters said they contacted Feed’em Soup about the drive, per the request of the Kishwuakee United Way, and ended up creating a partnership.

“Our clothing drive was completely impromptu, just a bunch of kids wanting to organize something for the community, and Feed’em Soup really gave everybody a home and let us into their organization,” Walters said. “We more than doubled Feed’em Soup’s previous supply of clothing.”

According to the Feed’em Soup website, donations can be dropped off every second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 2 to 8 p.m. at their location. Additionally, there is a donation bin in their lobby that will be open in the mornings and afternoons. They ask that all donated items be as close to “mint” condition as possible.

A tip from the organization’s website states, “A good rule of thumb to go by: Would you buy it from a thrift store in the condition it’s in? If yes, we’d be happy to find it a new home!”