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Soup Kitchen Reinvents Annual Thanksgiving Dinner To Continue 42 Year Tradition

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Courtesy/St. Mary's Soup Kitchen
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Scenes from last year's Thanksgiving dinner preparations in the St. Mary's Soup Kitchen. Longtime chariman, Pat McBride, shown bottom row, center, providing direction and encouragement to the team.

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the Saint Mary's Soup Kitchen will be able to safely host its 42nd Thanksgiving Dinner this Thursday by turning it into a carryout only affair.

The soup kitchen got its start in 1975 when Father Tom O'Connor began serving a few bowls of soup out the back door of the Rectory to those in need. During that year it grew to serving 75,000 meals and is now serving over 300,000 meals annually.

The kitchen is just one of the church's ministries, along with the Ave Maria House And Miss Virginia's Food Pantry. 

Matthew 25 Health & Dental Clinic, now a freestanding organization, got its start with the church's help as well, in 1976.

To learn the scope of the Soup Kitchen's city wide celebration and what this year's reinvention will look and taste like, WBOI's Julia Meek was able to reach its chairman, Pat McBride, by telephone during a lull in the turkey roasting operation to discuss the event's history, evolution and place in the community.

Event Information:

St. Mary's Soup Kitchen Thanksgiving Dinner
1101 South Lafayette Street, Fort Wayne
Thursday, November 26th, 2020
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Only carryout dinners will be served

You can connect with the soup kitchen at the Church website and donations may be sent to the address above.

A Fort Wayne native, Julia is a radio host, graphic artist, and community volunteer, who has contributed to NIPR both on- and off-air for forty years. Besides being WBOI's arts & culture reporter, she currently co-produces and hosts Folktales and Meet the Music.
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