Kids Care Clubs
Soup Kitchen Dinner
More families, including working middle class families, are turning to soup kitchens for their meals. Your club can help raise awareness of the needs of your local soup kitchen while raising funds and collecting non-perishable food to stock their shelves.
A Kids Care Clubs Soup Kitchen Dinner can bring your community together while involving helping hands of all ages.
Materials will depend on the courses you serve, the facility where you serve the dinner and the number of guests. A school kitchen or church kitchen may have all the supplies your club needs to put a meal together. Your club can then provide paper goods and the food.
Before the event:
- Find an appropriate location to hold the dinner such as a school, community center, church or synagogue with a kitchen, where food can be prepared and refrigerated.
- Identify the soup kitchen or shelter you want to help. Ask them for their "wish list" of food items.
- Decide how you will raise funds for the soup kitchen. Will you take the profits from the amount charged or ask for additional donations? Ask the guests to bring at least one item of non-perishable food for your agency.
- Decide if you will have a speaker at the dinner. Ask the soup kitchen or shelter if they can recommend someone who has experienced being homeless or had to depend on soup kitchens to eat, and has since overcome his homelessness.
- Plan your menu. Keep it simple - bread, soup or pasta, dessert and drinks. Check out the Kids Care Clubs Stone Soup recipe.
- Ask local merchants to donate the items. Give them credit in your publicity and at the event.
- Set the price for the dinner - keep families in mind as well as making a profit on the dinner you serve.
- Choose a time and date and start advertising! Include the recipient of the funds and speaker's name. Give credit to merchants donating food or items. Make posters, advertise in local and school newspapers. Send flyers to area churches and community organizations. Ask people to R.S.V.P.
Create a program/flyer for each guest:
- Research information about the soup kitchen/shelter such as: When did it open? Where is it located? How many men, women and children are served weekly? Are the number of people increasing or decreasing?
- Include a wish list of food items in the program.
- Note the hours that food items can be dropped off during the year.
- Include volunteer information about serving at the soup kitchen or shelter.
- Include facts about hunger in your area or state. Include facts about hunger in the United States and/or the world.
Plan the event:
Organize crews to set up, serve and clean up.
- Instead of, or in addition to a speaker, you might want to write a skit or read poems, stories or show videos about being hungry and homeless. You might want to play music written about hunger!
- Make a sign with facts and questions about hunger to place on each table.
- Make creative centerpieces for the tables according to the season or a theme. Ask local nurseries or florists for donations. (A painted, decorated coffee can and some styrofoam can hold all sorts of handmade flowers, and flags - check your local craft store for inexpensive materials.) Donate the centerpieces to the soup kitchen/shelter after the dinner.
- Check with the soup kitchen about donating any leftover food from the evening.
- Take pictures to put in a followup article in you town newspaper. Include how much money you raised and how much food your club collected. Thank those involved: volunteers, contributors, merchants, speakers, etc. A note to special contributors or the speaker from your club is a nice idea.
- Complete a Kids Care Clubs Response Card.