The Soup Kitchen celebrates 40 years of providing meals in Victoria

The Soup Kitchen celebrates 40 years of feeding Victoria’s most needy.

The not-for-profit charity currently operates out of an industrial kitchen in the basement of St Andrew’s Cathedral on View Street.

Teri Hustins, who works with The Soup Kitchen, said that although it is a non-denominational organization, the church kitchen is an ideal place for volunteers to prepare lunch.

Before the pandemic, Hustins said volunteers prepared a sit-down lunch for customers.

However, as of March 2020, they have transitioned to a bagged lunch system that allows people to take food away.

The operation, which Hustins calls “a well-oiled machine,” begins with chefs arriving as early as 4 a.m. to create the protein-rich soup that forms the basis of every lunch.

Later in the morning, around 7 am, more volunteers come in to make sandwiches and pack the rest of the lunch.

“We are run, led and organized entirely by volunteers,” Hustins said. “Every weekday, we have about 10 volunteers on each shift who prepare lunch.”

Each bag contains soup, sandwiches, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs and some candy from the COBS Bread branch on Oak Bay Avenue.

“We also provide customers with bagged bread,” Hustins added. “We get a lot of donations from COBS Bread in Oak Bay, so customers are welcome to bring a loaf or loaf of bread and we’ll provide a small tub of peanut butter. It’s a very nutritious, warming, protein-rich meal that we’re trying to give people Bag lunch.”

Keeping lunch fun and healthy is the organizers’ main goal. Every day, they see more and more people from all backgrounds show up when the doors open at 8am.

From those who are homeless or addicted to drugs to seniors on a fixed income, The Soup Kitchen serves a wide range of people.

The organization strives to serve as many people as possible—currently serving 3,000 meals a month—but costs are rising.

“We’ve seen, especially in the past few months, a surge in the number of people we serve each day,” Hustins said. “As food has become so expensive due to inflation, our costs have gone up.”

In response to rising costs and more people coming to lunch, the soup kitchen has received donations from community partners, such as a recent grant from the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem for a new bread slicer.

To commemorate 40 years in business, The Soup Kitchen launched a campaign on November 12 with a $24,000 fundraising goal. Donations from the campaign will run until December 21 and will be used to feed 4,000 people.

“To think that this has been going on in our city for 40 years…it’s an amazing organization,” Hustins said.

The soup kitchen is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 10:00 am.

For more information about the organization, please visit

221511-VNE-THE-Soup Kitchen


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