SOUP

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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 lscott8080@com­cast.net.

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