By Lara B. Ingram, MSW, LCSW
Executive Director, Mooresville Soup Kitchen
Mooresville Soup Kitchen (MSK)
There are some things that children would like to have that are wishes: name brand clothing, smart phones, the latest games—but going to bed fed shouldn’t be a wish. We have hundreds of children in our community who would not eat adequately without school lunch programs, MSK and other community resources that fight hunger. Families are forced to make choices daily between paying rent, filling prescriptions, or buying enough food to feed growing children.
The vision, the mission, and our beginning
The vision of the Mooresville Soup Kitchen began in the First Baptist Church thirty-one years ago. The mission to provide nourishing meals, fellowship, and encouragement to those in need has withstood three decades of change. Although the exact needs of our community have evolved, the human experience of needing good food, loving people to share it with, and hope for a better day, is still as applicable in 2020 as it was in the beginning.
Originally helping the homeless, now we help working families
Early on, the primary group of people served were those who were homeless. In 2020, that is no longer the case. Increased housing costs, health care, and food; along with wages that have not kept pace, have led to working families needing a partner on their journey. Of the 1,237 children and adults who shopped in our pantry in 2018, only 20 were homeless. The families that we partner with sit in class with your children, work at our local businesses, and contribute through public service and volunteerism. They are working parents making minimum wage, seniors on a fixed income, and veterans who have served our country. Our guests have a strong desire to provide for their families and are taking steps to improve their circumstances.
Expanded programs and measurable success
MSK undertook a challenge to expand programs in 2018 that would lead to increased independence. We are proud to celebrate a year of measurable success and individual lives changed.
- Over 24,000 hot meals served
- Over 51,000 frozen meals distributed through 9 community based markets
- Over 800 families registered for food pantry
- Free Cooking Classes offered to teach families to prepare healthy meals on a budget
- Shut- in neighbors received home delivered healthy foods from compassionate volunteers
- 5 graduates of our 12-week culinary job skills program, who are all now employed
A future home
The growing need is evident. We are looking to secure the future home of MSK, where we will be able to adequately meet the demand for food resources, job training support, and connections to resources. We have been diligently searching for that spot and are optimistic about the lives that will be impacted by this step.
We are grateful
As we look forward, we are grateful for your love and support in the form of countless volunteer hours, food donations, and financial gifts. We intentionally and wisely use your support to walk side-by-side with those in need as they work hard to improve their education, seek better job opportunities, and stabilize their families.
For more information
Come join us by checking out our website to learn how you can get involved at www.mooresvillesoupkitchen.com.
“Without MSK, I wouldn’t have found a place I belong.
A place to smile and support those who need it most.
A place where kindness doesn’t hide, but shows itself to everyone”
—Helen, MSK Volunteer