Pastor Jay Lutz, centre, with church volunteers Jodie Schumacher, Shirley Paul and Robbie Provost. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)

Pastor Jay Lutz, centre, with church volunteers Jodie Schumacher, Shirley Paul and Robbie Provost. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)

Soup’s on at Ponoka’s Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

Church near Lions Centennial Park providing weekly soup kitchen

Several community organizations strive to combat food insecurity and serve the under-housed in Ponoka and Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is one of them.

Adding to their existing, long-term efforts, the church, located next to the pond at Lions Centennial Park, started a soup kitchen program six weeks ago.

Every Wednesday from 12 to 1 p.m., those needing a warm meal can stop in for a steaming bowl of soup in the church’s basement where there’s a kitchen and dining hall.

Pastor Jay Lutz says the church has become a bit of a “community hub” over the years because people seem to know they’re a place that’s open to helping the needs in the community.

While the word has yet to get around about the soup kitchen, the church has offered bagged lunches to drop-in visitors for several years.

The kitchen is usually stocked with supplies and at times, the church has also given out coupons and gift cards to those in need.

Drop-in visits have increased lately, according to volunteers.

Those visits have often led to counselling opportunities. In fact last summer Lutz found himself counselling someone almost every day, he said.

The church’s community outreach has also enabled Lutz to build personal relationships. There are about 10 to 15 people who regularly stop in, either for food, to chat, or both, he said.

For some, the impact is lasting. For example, Lutz recently received a call from a person in prison who used to visit the church.

With several rows of tables and chairs in the dining area, the volunteers agree there’s a lot of potential for the space, and at least on Wednesdays for an hour, the soup’s on.

charityfood securityHomelessnessPonoka

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