By DENISE A. RAYMO
---- — MALONE — Emmaus Soup Kitchen will reopen at a new location Tuesday, offering hot lunches and a sack of groceries for those in need.
The Soup Kitchen is moving to the St. John Bosco Church Parish Center at 57 Rennie St., where it will operate from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays, said Terra Lewis, president of the Soup Kitchen Board of Directors.
The outreach program had previously been housed at Centenary United Methodist Church on Main Street for 22 years.
But church officials are branching to a new mission to offer in-depth spiritual help to those facing hunger, and they asked the Soup Kitchen to find a new site.
The Methodist Church is now partnering with Lifeway Community Church in North Bangor to offer free bagged lunches three days a week to those who want and need it, along with spiritual guidance.
The Rev. Joe Selenski, pastor of Lifeway, and the Rev. Billy Bond of the Methodist Church will offer Life-Cent Lunches at the Methodist Church at the corner of Main and Brewster streets from 10 a.m. to noon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, beginning Monday.
NONE TURNED AWAY
Lewis said board members felt the separation from the Centenary Church could have been handled better, but working with the Malone Catholic Parishes to find a host site at St. John Bosco was a positive experience that benefits all involved.
The Soup Kitchen, which is not faith-based, typically served between 75 and 100 people a week at its previous site at a cost of about $1 per meal.
“We get no money from the state or locally,” she said. “Everything we have comes from donations.”
Several Malone businesses, including Yando’s Big M and Price Chopper, support the Soup Kitchen and its mission to provide hot, nutritious meals, which typically include a tossed salad and dessert with the main course.
The program also receives donations indirectly from Wal-Mart, which gives food to the JCEO Gleaning Program. It then shares the donation with area food pantries and the Soup Kitchen.
A staff of dedicated volunteers also supports the Soup Kitchen’s efforts to fill a need in the community, Lewis said.
“We’re seeing a lot of young families who have children who are not school age,” she said. “The Department of Social Services sends us referrals, and many people are new to the community or new to the area, and they have to get acclimated to the different services in town.
“We feel the Soup Kitchen is not just a nutritious meal and groceries, but a feeling they get,” Lewis said. “Some don’t get out of their house every day or they live alone.
“There’s a fellowship there. Anybody can walk right in our front door. We don’t turn anyone away.”
Email Denise A. Raymo: firstname.lastname@example.org