FAIRMONT – As the temperature turns from cool to cold more people are heading to the Soup Opera for meals.
Misty Tennant, the director of the Soup Opera, said that this is normal for the season, as is the shortage of food items that comes along with increased attendance. The down side, she said, is a number of potential Soup Opera donors have already left the area to winter in warmer climes.
“Our pantry is extremely low,” Tennant said. “I get it because everyone goes on vacation. All pantries are low this time of year.”
Foods such as soup, bread, fruit, beans and snacks are at deficit levels at the Soup Opera, according to Tennant. She said that the kitchen has been serving approximately 100 people a day, with 118 being the record so far this season. So the need for the food is always present, and even more so now that more people are coming in.
“We’re going to have trouble giving out bags of food next month if we don’t get some food in,” Tennant said. “There’s a lot more faces, we are serving over 100 people a day in food, and we haven’t served that many in a long time.”
Also here at the beginning of the winter season, Tennant said the Soup Opera is collecting blankets and warm clothing items to provide to visitors of the Soup Opera, as part of the United Way of Marion and Taylor Counties’ Warm Coats, Warm Hearts drive.
The nonprofit Soup Opera is also collecting new toys for Christmas to give to children for the holiday season, so Tennant said she hopes to see those donations begin to flow in as well.
“Our giveaway is Dec. 18, so we’re collecting from now until about Dec. 13,” Tennant said. “We’re going to be wrapping Dec. 3 and Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. here at the Soup Opera, so if anyone wants to come volunteer and help us wrap, we make it fun.”
The drive helps provide presents for kids who may otherwise not get anything for Christmas.
“We’ve done it for years, everyone gets Christmas gifts, four or five per kid and it makes for a good day,” Tennant said. “Everyone gets a gift, no one is left out. And they are all new toys.”