Soup kitchen may become a reality

Local woman stirs up idea to help the hungry in Princeton

If everything goes according to plan Princeton could have its first soup kitchen in many years, by mid-February.

Rayleen Brewer, a director with Princeton Crisis Assistance and manager of that program’s thrift shop, has already lined up a pantry full of volunteers and now needs board approval and an ideal location before the ingredients go in the pot.

“I’m super excited to see where this could go,” she told the Spotlight in an interview recently.

Brewer said she is speaking with two local churches that are equipped with kitchens about housing a soup kitchen. It would open initially for three days a week.

“That would be better so that people could come in and eat instead of having them come into the store and then you just hand it to them and then they have to find somewhere to sit and eat.”

Brewer said she has time and resources to implement the kitchen which would serve “hearty soups and stews and sandwiches” in part because the Centre’s food cupboard, previously managed by Crisis Assistance and housed at Princeton United Church, was taken over by Princeton Baptist Church January 1st.

The food cupboard has been renamed Princeton Food Bank and its new phone number is 250-295-1932. People wishing to donate food may still drop it off at the Crisis Assistance thrift shop, said Brewer.

According to Brewer a local group attempted to sustain a soup kitchen in town many years ago, but the project petered out.

She estimated there are at least 30 people in Princeton who would make use of a soup kitchen each day. The demand for food assistance increases during the winter, she said.

“In the summer it slows down a bit because bills aren’t so high…If it’s needed it would have to go through the summer. We would just hopefully have enough volunteers.”

Brewer said approximately 10 people have stepped forward to offer to help with the soup kitchen, and that everyone participating will be certified in food safety.