After 15 months, Community Soup Bowl once again opening their doors

Community Soup Bowl

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Kayla Smith

After a year of serving to-go meals because of the pandemic, the Tuscaloosa Community Soup Bowl celebrated the return of in-person dining on Saturday, June 26.

Soup Bowl Executive Director Susan Lavender said she was grateful to reopen the dining room, as it is perhaps one of the most important services the organization offers.

“It’s a true celebration being able to eat in here because we have so many people that are homeless, disabled or just even wanting to get out of the warm weather,” Lavender said. “It’s a blessing.”

Community members gathered to play games, eat snow cones and enjoy other outdoor activities, before returning inside to the dining room for lunch.

“We’re so glad we are back inside now, so they can congregate and see friends and just enjoy the time with their friends and the different people that come in,” said Soup Bowl Board Member Mary Kemp.

She added that the Soup Bowl fills a much-needed niche in the Tuscaloosa area.

“The community just loves being here,” she said. “It’s a family atmosphere, the food is awesome and the people really look forward to coming.”

The Soup Bowl is funded by local churches, restaurants and community members. It is staffed by volunteers and open to anyone looking to enjoy a hot meal.

Lavender encouraged anyone who is interested in volunteering to reach out, as they always welcome help from people who are willing to get involved.

“We’d love to have you come by and serve with us, volunteer and just support the Soup Bowl,” she said.

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