How to Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen

Why Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen?

Pork roast, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes and apple pie for desert sounds like the ideal dinner for some. But for others, an ideal dinner is simply having something to eat -- anything at all. It's an unfortunate truth that millions of Americans go hungry every day. Soup kitchens, which rely on volunteers and charitable donations, are one good step toward ending hunger.

Why volunteer at a soup kitchen? The simple answer is that it's just a good thing to do -- for both your community and yourself. Making sure people have basic nutrition is incredibly important to their health and wellbeing. And volunteering at a soup kitchen, like volunteering for other charitable groups, is a very rewarding experience, which in turn can be beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing.

Holidays see an influx of volunteers, especially Thanksgiving, but it's important to remember that many kitchens are open 365 days a year. Guests rely on these hours of operation, which means the kitchens must rely on consistent volunteering. Of course volunteering during holidays is a great gift, but consider other times and ways you may be able to help. Instead of planning a book club meeting or movie night with your friends, consider planning a monthly volunteer night to prepare and serve food at a local soup kitchen or shelter. Check with the volunteer staffing manager to arrange a regular time for your group to help.

If cooking isn't your thing, there are many other ways to help. You could organize an event to help stock or fund your local soup kitchen. Before doing so, be sure to get in touch with the kitchen to see what donations they accept. If you don't have a local soup kitchen, but see the need for these services in your community, consider opening one. You can look for a group sponsor, such as a local religious organization or business to assist you.

Today, there are thousands of soup kitchens across the nation that rely on volunteers. Becoming a part of these generous organizations is as simple as serving a hot meal -- and you don't even have to cook it!

Read on to learn about how to get out and donate your time.