Anniston soup kitchen gets uptick in business during COVID-19 emergency

Anniston soup kitchen gets uptick in business during COVID-19 emergency
Anniston soup kitchen gets uptick in business during COVID-19 emergency (Source: WBRC)

ANNISTON, Ala. (WBRC) - A longtime Anniston soup kitchen is handing out a record number of meals, by carryout only these days.

Anniston’s Soup Bowl has been handing out free meals to anyone who wants one for 36 years.

The COVID-19 crisis has brought in more business - 167 meals yesterday and an average of 113 a day over the last two weeks. That’s a record since they stopped counting people and started counting meals.

At first, the soup kitchen set up a route that took diners straight to a sink to wash their hands, then to a serving line, then to tables set up for social distancing.

But later, like restaurants that charge, they switched to curbside. They now hand out the to-go meals from a table at the front door.

Executive director Katrina Dorsey says many of their current clients are out of work or suffering from reduced hours, again because of the COVID-19 crisis.

“There’s a need, and understanding that people are still hungry. And some people are still not working and so we’re glad to be able to fill that need for people, and just a hot meal,” Dorsey says,

Thursday's menu included vegetable soup, corn, salad and bread. Each person also received two small bottles of chocolate milk.

Many of the traditional volunteers tend to be from high risk groups for COVID-19 and stopped coming for their personal protection, so Dorsey says members of her own church now help out. They wear gloves and maintain social distancing.

The Soup Bowl gives out the lunches from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays from their location on West 15th Street.

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