Leader: Bill Thome
Our Lady of Lourdes Soup Kitchen was started in 1980 as a Lenten project. A few of the initial founders are Rosemary Vallely, Helen Cosgrove and John Klemanovic. They continue to help as possible.
In the beginning, food was begged from various sources. Now we are able to purchase from the Greater Chicago Food Depository and we are often blessed with food donations from local stores and restaurants.
In the early days dinners were put on actual dinner plates that would have to be washed. Today we use Styrofoam. This cuts time and makes the soup kitchen easier to manage. We serve up to 300 meals per week. We have always had cooked meals and have never served soup. Our guests leave with a sack lunch. When quantities of left over food are large enough, they are distributed to the guests in to-go containers.
In addition, we are blessed to have two outside agencies that assist us during the year. Our Lady or Ransom Parish comes on the fourth week in the odd numbered months during the school year. They provide all the food. They also participate at Thanksgiving and have a large clothing drive to provide warm clothes for the clients. The Ancient Order of Hibernians is another group that participates and they also provide the food. They participate the week before Thanksgiving, the Wednesday before Christmas Week and the Wednesday before Easter.
The hours of operation for the soup kitchen are from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday. We rely on volunteers from the parish and neighboring schools to help run the soup kitchen. We could not operate it without the continuous help of the volunteers. For all who have volunteered or made a donation, Thank You and God Bless.