the soup kitchen, are on the market or have already been sold.
For 37 years, every Monday, those in need could come to the Supper Table and get a good meal at St. Rita Church.
“Everything will stay the same,” St. Rita onsite director Stacy Nagel explained, “Same day, same time, same food, same volunteers, just a different location.”
“The new location is literally one block down the street, so, people don’t have to travel far,” she noted.
According to Nagel, The Supper Table was founded by accident.
St. Rita offered food to a few people in need, but in 1981 they noticed an influx of people needing food, who began to come more frequently, Nagel said.
Once church members noticed the people in need, they had a meeting and church member, Patrick Perkins, came up with the idea to start the Supper Table.
“He wanted to model the soup kitchen after his brother’s, who had just started one in Baltimore City,” Nagel said.
After the first official Supper Table serving, they noticed that not only was this going to be something big, but they would need a lot of funding.
According to Nagel, St. Rita recruited Mary Katherine Haines and her family to help, as well as accepting casseroles from Our Daily Bread.
“Ms. Katherine Falkenhan made the soup herself; they still weren’t getting any funding,” Nagel said.
Again, church members came together and had a meeting.
They decided to do research on how to apply and get grant money.
Once they applied for the grant, they received more funding, Nagel explained.
She noted, “It was enough for them to buy tables, chairs, pots, pans and freezers.”
“That was basically the dream,” she noted.
According to Nagel, back in the 1980s, there were several churches in the Greater Dundalk that would take a night out of the week and serve food.
“St. Rita has always served dinners on Mondays,” Nagel said.
As of now, the only two churches in Dundalk that still give out food are St. Rita and Patapsco Methodist Church, according to Nagel.
On Mondays, dinner consist of a pasta or a rice, a meat, applesauce or fruit, either fresh or canned, green salad, tea or coffee and a dessert.
During the winter, attendees can get a cup of soup.
“We serve an entire meal,” Nagel said.
Even though the soup kitchen will stay the same, with a new location, St. Rita does want to keep The Supper Table name.
“That’s why we’re changing the soup kitchen to Soup for the Soul when we move to Dundalk United Methodist,” Nagel said.
According to Nagel, the soup kitchen gets all kinds of donations from the community and businesses.
“We run on a prayer; there’s no set budget,” Nagel explained, “Without the businesses giving, I don’t know how we would survive.”
On Oct. 28, St. Rita will be remembering The Supper Table and celebrating it’s continuance.
“We have no plans on stopping the soup kitchen, just moving it to a different location,” Nagel said.
According to soup kitchen volunteer, Lisa Scott-Dzwonczyk, moving the soup kitchen has cost them some sponsors and they need more food for their Thanksgiving dinner they will serve on Nov. 19.
Since over 300 people will need food, they have set up a Stuff a Truck event to help them get supplies for Thanksgiving.
On Saturday, Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Soup for the Soul will be collecting food at the Big Lots on Merritt Boulevard.
They are looking for food, new blankets, hats and gloves.
If you can’t make the event but want to donate, you can contact Scott-Dzwonczyk via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.