Soup suppers seek soup makers

SAXTONS RIVER — Wednesday soup suppers in Saxtons River continue attracting more community members as organizers enter their third month of offering a free meal to anyone looking for social and physical nourishment.

“We're so glad folks have found us and each other,” said organizer Wanda Salter, surveying a group of some 40 neighbors gathered on a recent evening in the dining room of Christ's Church for the Blue Door Community Suppers.

Each week, four volunteers make arrangements for that week's meal, find four others who will make soups, set up the dining room, supervise the meal, and clean up.

Volunteers represent a broad spectrum of the community, Salter said: Many aren't even members of the church, whose Mission Committee sponsors the meal.

With the busy holiday season in gear, Salter said more volunteers are needed.

“We know people are busy, but we hope they will find time in the holiday hubbub to lend us a hand,” she explained. “Those who've done it have found it's great fun, and it's a chance to try out that soup recipe you have tacked on the fridge.”

Blue Door Community Suppers are served from 5:30 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday, with access off the parking lot at the rear of the church. The entrance is handicapped-accessible.

Soups have included split pea, West African peanut, spinach and garlic, squash, beef and vegetable, potato, corn chowder, beef barley, hamburger orzo, chicken noodle, vegetable, and chili.

There's an attempt to have vegetarian and gluten-free options on the menu each week, Salter said. Bread and coffee are served as well.

Donations for Our Place Drop in Center in Bellows Falls are accepted at the meals, with approximately $1,000 donated to the food pantry and daytime shelter in the first two months. Leftover soup, if there is any, also goes to Our Place, Salter said.

For links to a volunteer sign-up sheet and a hosting checklist, visit There are two hosting slots for each week. Salter said it would be helpful for people to partner up before signing up for a particular week.

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