Through the Christian ministry, "Because He Lives," the Woonsocket Soup Kitchen has been open to the public for what will soon be 25 years. Unfortunately, due to major plumbing problems within First Baptist Church, which as built in 1890, both the sanctuary and the basement (the location of the soup kitchen) are now off limits to the public.
Pat Dempsy, however, who has kept the soup kitchen going for a quarter of a century, is not about to let anything get in the way of the ministry. She and Bob Simmons, along with the rest of the crew at Because He Lives Ministries, have managed to continue feeding the homeless and the hungry of Woonsocket.
While the cooking is still, for the time being, done in the church kitchen, the food is brought out. The van is loaded up with hot food, muffins, bread, drinks, plates and utensils and driven to the WWII Veteran's Memorial Park on Social Street. The decision to bring the food to the people was made approximately three weeks ago. Although at first the crowd was small, through word of mouth the news has spread and many of the same folks who knew one another from the church are now meeting at the park.
They all know one another, and care about each other; they eat together, talk together, and encourage one another. One gentleman, Tom Lowe, recently donated $1,000 to the soup kitchen to use as they saw fit.
"Pat has fed me through many winters, and it's time I gave something back," said Lowe.
The crowd of people at WWII Park were in joyful spirits while they waited in line for their hot lunch. (Today's main course: Shephards Pie!) They sat at the picnic tables, and picked up where they had left off.
The van arrives at the park daily between 1 p.m.-2 p.m.