The Humboldt Community Soup Kitchen has had to maneuver through the trials of the last few years, but has continued in its mandate for those who need meals. The switch to a delivery model was made necessary by the pandemic. Then 2022 saw a move for the physical location. Now, with inflation impacting the ability of people to afford groceries, Director Kari Censiosi says it's clear the Soup Kitchen is needed more than ever.
“It has been extremely alarming how much the numbers have increased. We have people from every age group and every sector of the city that are in need. For our Christmas hampers for instance, we have 150 people.”
The increase is brought about purely by cost increases, says Censiosi. Costs for many retail items have shot up, but nowhere is it felt more than at the grocery checkout.
“It’s totally economics. As we all know, the cost of living has become unaffordable. There are things that are staples that people need every day, and if you are struggling and just making ends meet, or if you are getting assistance, there’s no extra money - not even enough money to feed your children.”
This year’s change of home base for the Soup Kitchen, from the Gathering Place to Westminster United Church, has afforded the group some benefits, Censiosi says.
“The Church was quite enthusiastic about us being there, and we’ve found the size more convenient for the number of people that help us. On a good Tuesday, we probably have eight or nine people. It’s benefitted us greatly.”
Kari says that people are aware of the plight of those in Humboldt, and there’s been a noticeable response when it comes to support for the efforts of the Soup Kitchen.
“It’s amazing how this community has stepped up. We have had such a huge positive response that our clients will not have had a Christmas like what we are going to give them this year. Everybody has stepped up to the plate with food and with gifts for people of all ages. It’s been wonderful.”
The Soup Kitchen continues providing meals for its clients, largely on a delivery basis, every Tuesday. This Christmas, the hampers, provided with the generosity of local businesses and individuals, will go a long way to help make this holiday season a memorable one.