HELPING OUT: Dalby Soup Kitchen supervisor Dominic Smithson giving Sarah Richards and her daughter Isabella Ison some warm soup.
HELPING OUT: Dalby Soup Kitchen supervisor Dominic Smithson giving Sarah Richards and her daughter Isabella Ison some warm soup. Sophie Volker

Soup kitchen helps families

FOR LOCAL mother Sarah Richards, the Dalby Community Soup Kitchen can often be that helping hand that gives her the security in knowing she, and her daughter Isabella, can eat a nutritious meal every night.

The soup kitchen, coordinated by the Western Downs Outreach Project (WDOP), is run by a small team of volunteers who are passionate about helping members of their community like Ms Richards.

"I am a stay-at-home mum, and the soup kitchen is really helpful when I'm in between payments and don't always know when the next payment will come in,” Ms Richards said.

"It really helps when you can't always afford to buy dinner, or perhaps you've put your children first so they can eat.

"The soup kitchen just means that everyone can get some dinner - it's really great,” she said.

The soup kitchen started serving meals once a week in May, 2015, and have since increased their program to serve meals three nights a week.

WDOP supervisor Dominic Smithson has been involved in the soup kitchen for about a year, and during that time he's seen the demand increase.

"Last year, there were a couple of nights where we had served over 70 meals here,” Mr Smithson said.

"It's sometimes a choice for people between putting food on the table, putting a roof over their heads, or going hungry.

"The soup kitchen just means that three days a week, they won't have to go hungry,” he said.

When asked what it is that keeps him coming back each week, Mr Smithson's answer was simple.

"I just like to help people out,” he said.

On average, the Dalby Community Soup Kitchen serves between 50-70 meals a session, which equates to about 10,000 meals a year.

Their program is run from donations from the major supermarkets, and partly from food and monetary donations from the general community.

In addition to the soup kitchen, the WDOP also runs the Shop for a Cause thrift shop and holds monthly markets at the Dalby Railway Station, both which help supply extra funds for the community group.

The Dalby Community Soup Kitchen runs from 5pm-7pm every Monday, Thursday and Saturday nights at the Dalby Railway Station.

The thrift store is open Monday-Friday, 9.30am-5pm, and Saturday 12pm-5pm, and the markets are the first Sunday of every month.

If you would like to donate to the WDOP so they can continue to run the community soup kitchen, please visit the Dalby Railway Station, or call Jason Vella on 46622956.


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