Bowl of soup and friendly faces

Serving people in need of a hot meal and others who just need a friendly face is the goal behind one of Sidney’s soup kitchens

St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church soup kitchen

Serving people in need of a hot meal and others who just need a friendly face is the goal behind one of Sidney’s soup kitchens.

Friendly Hours and Soup Kitchen at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church is a place where people in need can go for a free meal. As well, says spokesperson Frank Hawboldt, it’s the spot for many seniors who might not be able to get out and socialize often enough.

The soup kitchen, operated by church volunteers, received two donations recently, including $1,000 from the Torque Master Car Club. Club spokesperson Jamie Cox said the donation comes from the club’s funds they raise at their various annual events.

“St. Elizabeth’s runs a local, community service,” he said, noting they earmark funds to such groups.

Friendly Hours at St. Elizabeth’s Church runs every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to around 1 p.m. They have been doing this since 1985 when the church on Third Street saw the need.

An average of 40 to 60 people take advantage of the service and organizers say they welcome anyone from the community, not just members of their congregation.

The recent donations, including one from the local Knights of Columbus, will be used to keep the soup kitchen in supplies, said Josephine Wingerter who has been a  volunteer at Friendly Hours since day one.

The soups are made from scratch, she said, and some 40 volunteers also make desserts and bread to accompany the main course.

On this particular day, she said the hall at the church was busy, serving soup to people with disabilities, local seniors and folks from addiction support groups.

These twice-weekly lunches, she continued, help meet a need in the community — a need that other church communities help meet as well, with soup kitchens of their own during other days of the week.

To learn more about the 28 years of serving hot soup and providing a friendly atmosphere, drop in to Friendly Hours at Sidney’s St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church Tuesdays and Thursdays at lunch.