Impromptu chefs from Discovery House will once again be making and dishing up soup for the soul during the annual Lent Soup fundraiser starting this week.
Every Friday from Feb. 16 to March 23, homemade, gourmet soups, fresh Cobs buns, coffee or tea will be available at St. John Vianney Hall for just $5 (refills $2 and take out $6).
According to Discovery’s executive director Jerome Abraham this the eighth year for the popular lunchtime program which takes place on those days from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
“Actually it started out as a thank you to the Catholic church for our first house which they’ve rented to us for going on 11 years for just a $1 a year,” said Abraham, who was a client of the men’s recovery house at the time it started. “So we kind of wanted to do something with the guys in the house being involved and give back and we though a good way is to do vegetarian soups the six weeks before Easter.
Particularly in the Catholic faith some believers mark the season with the abstention from eating meat, thus the vegetarian soup.
For Abraham there is an additional purpose to offering the lunch, which to him is just as important if not more so, than the money brought in.
“It’s not our biggest fundraiser but I think the exposure we get out of it – it’s a very relaxed thing and just getting the guys in that community connection is very important,” he said. “Having the clients participating as part of their food safe and food nutrition groups and being with other people helps to break down some of the stigma of what addiction is.
“I think when people think of addiction they think of people using in doorways and people on the street because of their addiction but this shows that addiction touches all manner of people.”
He added that some of the clients of Discovery do come from the streets and jails, but definitely not all.
“But with some rehabilitation and some compassion and some care you can change people’s lives no matter where they are coming to us from,” said Abraham.
Discovery House has a second, much larger facility on Winnipeg Street which was officially opened last December.
Abraham believes the positive work of the organization can be seen in the community support it has received.
“I think a lot of our neighbours have been pleasantly surprised to the point where they have been volunteering and including us in fundraising in their Christmas campaigns,” he said.
Anyone wanting more information about the Lent Soup event or wishing to donate a pot of vegetarian soup, contact Kathy Sherwood at 250-462-1388.