Soup Kitchen delivery program
a prescription for compassion and dignity
Giguere, who had spinal surgery recently and is unable to cook, and her mother-in-law, Anna Giguere (not pictured),
have been receiving meals from The Soup Kitchen’s Meals on Wheels program for two months.
Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star
By Linda Haase
We’re all grateful for our annual Thanksgiving feasts but at The Soup Kitchen in Boynton Beach every single meal is a much-appreciated blessing.
More than 400 hungry people line up at The Soup Kitchen daily. Volunteers dish up meals — and kind words — to those in need. They also give out bags with food and basic necessities.
It’s a big help to those who might not otherwise eat. But the staff and volunteers worried about those who aren’t able to get to the Boynton Beach Boulevard venue.
Now, thanks to a $100,000 grant from Impact 100 Palm Beach County, the nonprofit organization is bringing food to homebound seniors in Boynton Beach. The free home delivery program offers meals five days a week (weekends are excluded).
“For over 30 years The Soup Kitchen has been feeding the hungry and consistently evolving to address the many needs of our guests,” explains Executive Director Enrique Zuanetto. “Providing home delivery service was a natural offshoot of what we already do in the kitchen.”
The organization’s Meals on Wheels program was launched in July to help homebound seniors and/or physically challenged residents in the Boynton Beach area.
“While we are not affiliated with the Meals on Wheels national program, the Meals on Wheels of The Palm Beaches was instrumental in providing us guidance and support for the launch of our program,” says Zuanetto. “The organization was more than generous with their time in helping us minimize obstacles.”
A hot meal — along with a hefty snack and a protein shake — is delivered to seniors who are homebound due to medical or health-related mobility issues, transportation limitations or age.
“We give them two trays with food. We give them a lot of food. We are very proud to be able to do this,” says Zuanetto.
“There are so many seniors that need help and we appreciate the grant from Impact 100. It made this program possible,” he says. Impact 100 Palm Beach County, a women’s charity organization, donated $436,000 to six nonprofit groups in southern Palm Beach County in April. The Soup Kitchen was one of four nonprofits that received $100,000.
“We have heard that many of these people can’t afford to buy food or are too tired or weak to prepare it,” Taryn Wheat, The Soup Kitchen’s grant writer, noted during a speech at the Impact 100 Grants awards ceremony. “We want to ensure that their health does not deteriorate due to lack of nutrition. Equally important is the daily check-in and a human connection. In many instances, this program is a prescription for compassion and dignity.”
Impact 100 members obviously agreed, voting to give the organization one of the four top grants.
“We’re here for our community,” says Zuanetto.
And that includes people like Peter Moshonas, one of The Soup Kitchen volunteers helping with the initiative. “The program is an important one,” says the Lake Worth resident and chef. “It will help a lot of people.”
For more information on The Soup Kitchen’s Meals on Wheels Program, call 561-806-8636.
Ride Against Hunger
Volunteers will use pedal power to collect food for the hungry during the 2015 Cranksgiving Bike Ride/Scavenger Hunt hosted by the Community Caring Center. The 15-mile route will include stops at four grocery stores where riders will purchase nonperishable items (a minimum of $20) to help fill 250 Thanksgiving baskets and help stock the food pantry.
Prizes will be awarded to the riders with the best turkey costumes.
When: Registration at 8 a.m.; ride starts at 9 a.m. Nov. 15.
Where: Begins and ends at The Backyard, 511 N.E. Fourth St., Boynton Beach.
Cost: $10 registration fee.