About the Soup Hour
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in ... ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" ―Matthew 25:35,40
The non-sectarian Soup Hour at Saint Matthias Episcopal Church has served the Whittier area continuously for over 30 years. Every afternoon at 3 PM, Monday through Friday, rain or shine, volunteers at the Soup Hour serve a hot meal to anyone who arrives — no questions asked. All one need do to be fed is show up and conduct oneself properly, showing respect to others.
Over the course of the year, the Soup Hour serves over 20,000 meals to our neighbors in need. This service is accomplished with the guidance of two paid, part-time staff and over 30 volunteers each week. In addition to meals, over 300 guests receive their mail at Saint Matthias, as well as hygiene kits, bus fare, and other small monetary needs as funds are available. Since 2014, a nurse practitioner and registered nurse have volunteered their time every other Tuesday from 2 to 4 PM to help our guests in need of medical assistance and attention.
And who can measure the value of the human connection provided by the Soup Hour? Recently we received an answer to that question from a man at the office door. We asked how we could help him that day. “You already have,” he said, “by acknowledging my existence.” He didn’t feel invisible anymore. He wasn’t just a statistic.
Because its total budget is slightly over $100,000 per year, the Soup Hour certainly would not be possible without the ongoing support of neighbors and friends who share our concern for the less fortunate. While we receive private foundation grants, we depend extensively on donations of money, food, and toiletries. Can by can, dollar by dollar, this essential effort happens through countless gifts.
The Saint Matthias Soup Hour is truly a community endeavor. Won’t you please join us?