Rick StiebelThe Chronicle
A change of venues hasn’t slowed the Ladysmith Soup Kitchen’s ability to ladle out a serving of comfort and a helping hand.
Operating since September after a move from the Eagles Hall to Bethel Tabernacle Church on 4th Avenue, the volunteer-driven gem now has an approved kitchen facility to prepare the soup and sandwiches it makes available to a cross-section of the community.
The Soup Kitchen was launched in June 2014 in response to the tragic death of Ladysmith resident David Alton, who died from exposure and starvation in the dugout at Aggie Field on January 13 of that year. After a 10-week trial run to assess the viability, six ministers from local churches collaborated with the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association to keep the Soup Kitchen running.
The recent move was necessitated because the Eagles Hall did not have the approved kitchen facilities the Soup kitchen requires.
Funding is obtained completely through fundraisers and donations, so that underscores the importance of the second annual Salmon Dinner on Oct. 15, said longtime volunteer Myf Plecas.
“It’s a big part of many ways we try to raise funds,” she said. “It’s also a great way for people from though out the community to find out what goes on at the Soup Kitchen.”
There’s a misconception that many of the six to 22 people on average that come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 2-4 p.m. are homeless or down on they’re luck, but that’s not the case, Plecas noted.
“We have people who are on income assistance, seniors, pensioners, single parents and people who are on their own,” she explained. “The group is very much like a family and a lot of people come for the camaraderie, comfort and sense of community.”
The fact that the volunteers try to abide by the Canada Health Guide may be another draw, Plecas said.
“We make hearty, delicious very nourishing soups from scratch,” she said. “We try and change it up once in a while with something like tuna casserole as well, and serve desserts, fresh fruit or salads.”
The Salmon Dinner is on Oct. 15 at the Aggie Hall at 1110 1st Ave. Admission is by donation, and the doors open at 6 p.m. with dinner served at 7.