The Open Door Soup Kitchen receives grants to 'Go Green'

(Submitted by Sue LaBean, Open Door Board Member and Coordinator of the Soup Kitchen)

Open DoorThe Open Door is pleased to announce the receipt of two grants totaling $17,596.30 to 'Go Green'  in the Soup Kitchen.

The grants will allow significant changes in the operation of the Soup Kitchen. Changes will include the installation of a commercial dishwasher and work counter along with the purchase of dish ware and related kitchen equipment.  The revamped kitchen area will mean that the Soup Kitchen can eliminate the purchase of 'throw-away' plates, flatware, and cups which will significantly reduce the amount of material destined for the landfill as well as reduce annual operating expenses of the Soup Kitchen.  Construction is expected to begin in August with completion in the early fall of 2010.

The Midland Area Community Foundation awarded a grant of $16,596.30 while the Midland Noon Rotary Community Needs Committee awarded a grant of $1,000. The Midland Area Community Foundation strengthens our community by providing leadership, fostering collaboration on local needs and issues, and encouraging a legacy of giving through grants, scholarships, and events.

"We are thrilled to be able to 'Go Green'", says Sue LaBean, Open Door Board Member and Coordinator of the Soup Kitchen, "while at the same time decreasing costs and improving efficiency in order to better serve the working poor and homeless individuals and families of Midland County".

The Open Door Soup Kitchen, a division of the Open Door Youth Outreach of Midland, meets the physical needs of the hungry in the Midland area with free hot, wholesome meals served every Monday through Saturday from noon until 1:30 pm. The goal is to provide a well balanced meal. For some of the clients, the Soup Kitchen provides the only food they will eat that day.

The Soup Kitchen has experienced a 40% growth in meals served since 2007, with a total of 18,206 meals served in 2009.  The meals are prepared and served by volunteers using donated food from individuals and groups such as Hidden Harvest, supplemented by purchased food from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and other sources.  “This May and June there was a significant rise in the number of people fed in a day and many new faces coming in to the Soup Kitchen to eat” says Sue LaBean.

The Open Door Soup Kitchen is located at  412 W. Buttles, near downtown Midland.