Spirit of Alabama: Community Soup Bowl offers hot meals, kind service
Tuscaloosa’s Community Soup Bowl ensures no one goes hungry and basic needs get met for a population that often falls through the cracks.
Elizabeth Cheshire devotes a day each week to the Community Soup Bowl, doing whatever needs doing when folks come in for a good, home-cooked meal.
“It is a real joy to know that you have made a difference in the lives of someone else,” Cheshire said. “In this case, the lives of so many people because there are so many who come each day.”
It’s a warm, welcoming place for those who don’t find those things often.
Meals are prepped with consideration, not shortcuts, and include items like parmesan grits, pecan-crusted catfish, sauteed green beans and cornbread. Not to mention dessert.
“We’re here for them,” said CSB Executive Director Susan Lavender. “Because we’re here for them we want it to be the best it can be. We did ribs on Labor Day. They were thrilled to death about that. (Chef Jerome has) done fajitas, meat loaf. He makes it from scratch every day. We’re lucky to have him, but we’re here to feed them not only food, but good food.”
It’s not a complicated endeavor. Go in hungry, leave satisfied. No questions asked.
The Community Soup Bowl relies on donations. Patrons can donate food or money, but money goes further because of bulk discounting. First African Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church and Christ Episcopal Church help support their work, too.
“It’s a gift to be able to do this,” Cheshire said. “To make others smile.”
If you’re interested in making a donation or volunteering, click here.