Much More Than Food

The RIFA Soup Kitchen provides hot, nutritious meals 365 days a year, including all holidays. There is no charge for the meals, and no one is turned away.

Last year, 86,358 meals were served in the Soup Kitchen. Those meals represent more than just a plate of food—it represents community, a safe place and a sanctuary for the people we serve. 

It is a place where you can come sit down out of the elements and feel like you are visiting friends. The atmosphere is like a reunion as people chat, reconnect and share stories.

Patrons may go their whole day and never have anybody to speak to them until they come into the Soup Kitchen. Here somebody gives them a smile and tells them they’re glad to see them or sits down with them and has a glass of lemonade and talks to them. Food brings people together. The Soup Kitchen is a quintessential example of a place in which food creates an atmosphere of friendship and love.

Volunteers serving lunch
Volunteers serving lunch

Soup Kitchen Manager, Susan McFarland explains that the patrons are sweet people. “They come in and they think they are hungry physically, but they are really hungry spiritually.” 

There is a chapel service every day, so there is a chance to sing together and talk about Jesus. 

“I have a job where I can pray for people if they tell me they’re having a bad day, we can just stop right there and pray. Having the freedom to do that is really priceless,” said McFarland. 

“The most rewarding part of this job is hands down the relationships. There are a lot of people and a lot going on. Sometimes the people in here are having good days and sometimes they are having very bad days, but all I have to do is just love the one in front of me—just love that person who’s in front of me one at a time in the best way that I can.” 

Susan McFarland

Learn more about the Soup Kitchen.

Here is an Amazon list of frequently needed items in the Soup Kitchen.

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