Community Gives Back with Warm, Comforting Soup

It’s been said that soup is good for the soul. At Covenant House, it is much more than that.  Warm and comforting soup can often be a lifesaver to many of the homeless youth who find their way to the shelter.

“Having soup 24 hours a day means Covenant House cares about me,” said one CHA youth. As another young resident put it, “Having soup available means…I don’t have to steal food when I’m hungry.”

Nearly 20 gallons of hot, soothing soup are offered everyday to homeless youth dropping into Covenant House for a warm meal and safe harbor. For many youth, it is their first meal of the day.  For others, it serves as the beginning of their journey at Covenant House.

Each time homeless youth come into Covenant House for some nourishment, it’s an opportunity for them to learn about the services offered in the CHA building. More importantly, stopping by for a hot bowl of soup gives them a chance to get off the dangerous streets -- and to feel cared for and loved by the welcoming staff.

Earlier this spring, Covenant House youth had the opportunity to help prepare some savory soup.  Led by volunteer Kari Hall, the teens learned how to prepare and cook the ingredients for her Italian White Bean soup, which won the 2016 Bean’s Café Empty Bowl Project Award.  The teens graciously helped her chop Costco-sized boxes of vegetables for 31 gallons of soup -- and learned a lot in the process.

“The most rewarding part was watching the kids help prepare the vegetables – they were having fun,” said Hall, who makes about 15 gallons of healthful soup a month for Covenant House youth. “Cooking together is an activity you do at home. It was heartwarming knowing that they were getting that here at Covenant House.”

“I love doing this,” Hall added. “It’s a good feeling knowing that you’re providing something warm and nourishing for kids coming off the cold streets.”

For more information about volunteering or donating soup to Covenant House Alaska, please contact Volunteer Specialist Holly Payne at ­­volunteer@covenanthouseak.org or 907-339-4261.