By Sarah Newberry / Staff Writer
Christian Soup Ministry Inc., a soup kitchen on 301 East 3rd in Hutch, had humble beginnings but has impacted the community ever since. And it has made an impact for the better. It all started in 1984 when it began holding Bible classes. But, they found out that people were coming hungry, so they started passing out meals. They bought the building with the soup kitchen now, but it was still more than handing out food to those in need.
“They wanted to feed them food for the soul, as well as their stomachs,” says Stanley Murdock, who is the soup kitchen’s director.
The soup kitchen on is more than a place that hands out food. The soup kitchen also serves as a church on Sunday and holds Sunday school as well. It is also a place where the people who volunteer or come to get food feel welcome. Many of the volunteers like helping there, and even Murdock enjoys her job as well.
“I enjoy my job. I love being her. I do,” says Murdock.
You might think that the soup kitchen is only for the poor, but Murdock begs to differ. It is a place for all, and you don’t have to be in poverty to use the ministry’s services.
There are other services that the soup kitchen provides as well. It has a clothing bank that includes clothes, dishes, towels, and more.
The soup kitchen also has a food bank. Every Monday, it has a big giveaway of milk or any other item that a sponsor provides. One hundred three churches around Hutchinson support the soup kitchen, and Kroger is a big supporter. Kroger donates half gallons of milk. There are also many other supporters of the soup kitchen too – for example, other companies or the general community.
Each church takes a turn in preparing the meal provided that day. On a recent Saturday, it was Faith Chapel Community Church. Then, volunteers help package the meals and put them together. It used to be that they served the meal in the upper portion of the building to people in the dining room. But, now, because of Covid, they have to do it this way and pass out the meals outside. Recently, a local boy scout group, Troop 303, led by Pieter Miller, helped package the meals. He said he enjoys volunteering at the soup kitchen, and he thinks it is a good teaching opportunity.
“I think it’s good to teach the boys that there is a need and that it’s good to volunteer,” Miller said.
The soup kitchen is open to volunteers and encourages people to do so. Also, it feels like a second home or a second family for many people who help there.
Murdock also feels the same because she has been there for 30 years. Pastor Ron Deviney, who also helps supports the soup kitchen, agrees as well.
“I spend more time here than I do with my own family,” Deviney said.
The Christian Soup Ministry is a place where people can do something good and benefit the community greatly. People feel like they belong somewhere when they may not or are encouraged to come in despite their situation. Either way, the soup kitchen brings the community together like pieces of a puzzle.