Puyallup Herald

Those in need find a warm meal at Puyallup’s “soup church”

Linda Potter (left) and Kathy Mason help behind the scenes at Christ Episcopal Church of Puyallup for the weekly soup luncheon, which serves meals to those in need. Dec. 12, 2018
Linda Potter (left) and Kathy Mason help behind the scenes at Christ Episcopal Church of Puyallup for the weekly soup luncheon, which serves meals to those in need. Dec. 12, 2018 allison.needles@puyallupherald.com

The Rev. Rachel Endicott receives a lot of comments regarding Christ Episcopal Church of Puyallup.

Many are about the historic nature of the building — its brickwork and stained-glass windows that have been maintained since the church was built in 1926.

Endicott has also heard the Christ Episcopal Church of Puyallup be called by another name.

“I know some people call us the ‘soup church,’” she said.

With good reason.

The name references a service provided by the church where those in need of a meal can stop by for a bowl of soup, rolls, dessert, coffee and juice.

Volunteers host the soup luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday at 210 5th St. SW, Puyallup, averaging around 25 people every week.

Many of the people served are experiencing homelessness, such as Adin, who visits the church for a bowl of soup about two times a month. She preferred to go by a single name.

“There’s nice people here, and really good soup,” Adin said Dec. 12. “It means a lot. You’re outside for so long, and it’s nice to feel like you’re indoors.”

Adin found herself homeless about 10 years ago following a family fight. She currently works, but it’s not enough for a place to live, she said.

The soup luncheon is especially nice in the cold winter months, added Adin. The church hosts the luncheon from September to early June, when the need is typically the largest.

“Numbers go down in spring a little bit,” Endicott said. The church is considering extending the service throughout the summer, she said.

Volunteer Kathy Mason works behind the scenes to make the soup every Wednesday, getting to use two of her passions: cooking and helping others.

“For this church, this whole ministry is a labor of tremendous love,” Mason said.

Volunteer Cindy Johnson says she gets to know people face-to-face at the luncheon.

“They’re people — it’s fun to get to hear about their lives,” Johnson said. “I know they like coming here because the food is homemade and warm.”

Adin frequents New Hope Resource Center in Puyallup and receives her mail there but says the Chris Episcopal Church is a good place to go to when New Hope is full.

The church also provides a mail service, bus passes and a monthly laundry service from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. every fourth Saturday at Happy Dry Clean & Laundromat in Puyallup. The church provides laundry detergent and money for cleaning and snacks.

“We’re a fairly small church, but we do a lot to help,” Endicott said.

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