‘You come in here, you’re family’: Soup kitchen offers hope & help ahead of holiday

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Thanksgiving meal preparations are underway for many people across the country, and one soup kitchen here in the East made Thanksgiving dinner a little easier for many on Wednesday.

Joy Soup Kitchen normally serves Thanksgiving dinner the Saturday before Thanksgiving, but this year, Head Volunteer Chairman Tom Quigley said they did it the day before to bring more meaning to the holiday.

“This building, you come in here, you’re family. The back of our shirts say ‘feed them like they’re family’ because everyone who walks through this building, we treat as such,” said Quigley. “If we don’t [like’ the way the food tastes, we don’t put it out. We try it, we eat ourselves and feed people like they are family.”

For this meal especially, they started preparing donated food on Monday and Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, they prepped 250 servings of yams, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

“The best thing is family dinner because you are all around the table and stuff,” said Demittrus Burden.

Burden, a local high school student, went to the soup kitchen with his mom. He says he is thankful for many things this year. He says he and his mother are moving out of the shelter today and to a church ministry house.

“I want to thank God, because it’s because of him that all these wonderful things are happening,” said Burden.

Shirley House has been helping her sister run the place since it opened and has now taken a larger role since her sister died a few years ago.

She says the feeling of serving and seeing their faces makes doing this all worth it.

“Oh it’s thrills! It’s a joy because a lot of people may noy have a Thanksgiving meal or anything to eat,” said House. “So, when you feed them and give them a responsibility to just come, sit, and eat and enjoy the food.”

Joy Soup Kitchen served food from 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning until 1 in the afternoon. They normally serve lunch Monday through Friday and dinner Monday through Thursday.

If you are interested in donating or volunteering, call the soup kitchen at (252) 561-7419. Ask for Shirley.