Altoona soup kitchen meets growing demand thanks to community

Local News

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) — Nexstar is partnering with Feeding America as food insecurity rates reach a new high.

St. Vincent De Paul Soup Kitchen partners with the organization and is adapting to a lot of changes, the most challenging being the switch to drive-thru serving during the pandemic.

St. Vincent De Paul Soup Kitchen Director Sister Paula Delgrosso said some say the drive-thru is more convenient and others keep asking when they are going back to the dining hall.

“The big challenge now is when we get back in the dining hall who do we take care of, the elderly or a certain part of the population, you know we don’t know, it’s going to be hard to do both inside and outside because of traffic, but we’ll figure out,” Sister Delgrosso said.

St. Vincent De Paul Soup Kitchen will be serving the community for 30 years in November and Sister Delgrosso said with the growing demand, the communities support allows them to continue to give out hot meals and boxed goods.

“We are able to do that because of the generosity of the community, plus we give out other things that we get like now, we are giving out produce boxes, we’re giving cereal, we get all kinds of good breads and stuff from our local groceries that we pick up every week, so the community has been very supportive that’s how we manage,” Sister Delgrosso said.

The amount of people the saint vincent de paul soup kitchen serves has more than doubled during these times of need, giving food to about 300 people per day.

“The presence of the soup kitchen here has been such a blessing to Altoona, but it’s been a blessing not only providing food but providing comfort to those in need,” St. Vincent De Paul Soup Kitchen Associate Director Sister Pauline Kawtoski said.

And volunteers said the experience for them is very rewarding, as they serve with a smile.

“When the cars pull up and handing them their meals they look forward to seeing us and we look forward to seeing them,” St. Vincent De Paul Soup Kitchen Volunteer Brenda Green said.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity to be here, to be able to provide for the people, to share the love, to share the food, and to share the kindness, it’s a great opportunity,” St. Vincent De Paul Soup Kitchen Volunteer Jim Shannon said.

The soup kitchen gives meals every week, Monday through Friday, to anyone that is in need.

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