By Catharin Shepard •
Staff writer •
Open Door Soup Kitchen in Raeford is still open and serving meals to anyone who needs food.
The nonprofit has cut its operations from seven days a week to four, and is taking safety precautions, the Rev. Al Anderson said Tuesday.
The soup kitchen at 320 Turnpike Road in Raeford has posted signs asking people not to come in if they have symptoms of illness. Staff members are also taking precautions to help keep themselves and the public safe, by wearing protective masks and gloves.
“Our at-risk workers on dialysis haven’t been coming because of lower immune systems,” Anderson said.
The soup kitchen has seen an increase in requests for support since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Anderson said. Open Door Soup Kitchen helped with food distribution for Hoke County Schools, and has gotten calls from some housing communities seeking resources for residents. Hoke County Social Services also turned to the nonprofit to help secure boxes of groceries for people in need.
The soup kitchen is doing food giveaways on Sundays and Tuesdays from its food pantry. They’ve been working with the local Walmart to be able to buy bread, which is still flying off the shelves in the community.
The soup kitchen is partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank, which has increased its distribution to the facility to help with demand. The group also reached out to Campbell’s Soup for support. Mountaire Farms donated chicken to the soup kitchen last week.
Open Door Soup Kitchen is also currently the only place in the county where community workers who need to get hours for the EBT work first program can still come to put in their hours, Anderson said.
The soup kitchen’s clothes closet has also seen a rise in demand as people come to pick up clothes more frequently than in the past, the pastor said.
The soup kitchen is not currently taking donations of food from the public due to the risk of spreading COVID-19, but the organization is still accepting donations of money. Donation checks or money orders can be sent by mail to Open Door Soup Kitchen, 320 Turnpike Road, Raeford, N.C., 28376 or made online through the nonprofit’s website at hokecountyopendoorsoupkitchen.com.
The Open Door Soup Kitchen has operated in Raeford since 2015, and last year moved into its new location on Turnpike Road. For more information, contact Anderson at (404) 971-7408. The organization is a registered 501c3 nonprofit.