SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – There hasn’t been a time that the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen admits their name has showcased what they really do.
“I think my biggest surprise is that we’ve never served soup…that each day it’s a hot meal with vegetables and starches and dessert and bread so we call it a soup kitchen but I’ve never seen soup served,” said Daniel Thrower, volunteer and pastor at Hope Church Spartanburg.
Filled with volunteers from the community, each person brings what they call their own speciality. From music to handmade clothing, it’s become a space for all.
The soup kitchen said with last-minute turkey and ham donations they are looking to serve 2,000 people on Thanksgiving tomorrow and are able to also implement new ideas, like carry-out meals. This is the closest to the holiday that the team said they’ve ever seen this many donations come in.
“From Monday even through today, with people still calling, I think it resonated to people that the needs are great and they have come to our aid,” said Lou Sartor, executive director of the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen.
175 turkeys have been donated since just Monday, and the soup kitchen said the people who will be sharing this holiday meal all have different reasons for joining.
“Not everyone of course is homeless, people just go through seasons where they’re out of work, or with food prices going so high so we have a lot of families that come in, and people who just need a good meal,” said Thrower.
While getting to know the people they feed, the soup kitchen said they learn more about the role they play in the community.
“The needs are greater because we have families who are coming in who maybe they haven’t received their food stamps, or maybe they don’t have the amenities to be able to cook, so we are the difference between survival and death,” said Sartor.
From the donations made this week, the soup kitchen is able to implement a new carry-out method that will allow people to take their meals home with them.
“This is really new for us to have enough to be able to do that,” said Sartor. “We have 2,000 people and we have 2,000 people that will be able to take the meal back with them. And so, we are going to be sending hygienic bags along with the meals just to let them know we love them as well.”
While Thanksgiving is a popular day for the soup kitchen, they said the help is never-ending.
“Seven days a week 365 days a year, it’s tremendous and we just count it as a great privilege to be able to come and serve each week,” said Thrower.
The Spartanburg Soup Kitchen said doors will open at 11 a.m. tomorrow and close when the last person gets their meal.