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Soup Shack moves to new location to feed growing homeless community

Soup Shack in Windsor, Ont., on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2023. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor) Soup Shack in Windsor, Ont., on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2023. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor)

A rolling soup kitchen in downtown Windsor has found a new location to continue serving people in need.

The Street Angels Soup Shack can now be found outside All Saints’ Anglican Church at City Hall Square.

“This is our new home,” exclaimed Rodger Fordham, executive director of partnering organization Feeding Windsor.

“We’re right in the downtown core at ground zero of where the need is, so that’s fantastic also.”

Fordham explained the Soup Shack’s initial location on Wyandotte Street near Parent Avenue would be temporary until renovations at Parkwood Gospel Church were complete, noting the demand for food continues to grow.

“They were fantastic hosts,” Fordham said.

“The need is just growing. When we started last November we were getting about 35-45 (people) and quite frankly that was impressive under the circumstances, but it's just gone up every couple of months.”

“It goes up another twenty another twenty, another twenty,” he explained.

“We put out about 700-800 meals a day. This year we'll go over the 200,000 meal mark. Last year we were about 186,000 meals, and we just have a army of people. About 30,000 volunteer hours. Closer to 40,000 now of volunteer hours and we literally put about 700 meals out by noon hour in the morning, seven days a week.”

Fordham said the volunteer run program hopes to secure more sponsorships and funding, telling CTV News it still costs thousands of dollars a year to operate.

“We put out a soup with a container and all that and some treats but still cost you about $1.50 a day,” Fordham said. “I want the soup to be a meal,” he continued. “I don't put a consommé out. I mean if that's going to be what you're eating I want it to be substantial. And you know, Tim Hortons backs us up with water and coffee and hot chocolate and people come and bring snacks to hand out and then we have hygiene items and all that kind of stuff. But doing it all with volunteers and all as cheap as you can is still cost us $50,000 a year to operate because it's just 36,000 soups, so there's no pretty way to do it.”

“All of Feeding Windsor works on donations, where we don't get government funding. We do get some grants once in a while but primarily it's good heart of the community that allows us to do, and as we expand with our children's programs and our seniors programs and community meals and the soup shack and so on, the community when we ask always steps up and it's amazing actually.” Fordham added, “It's humbling.”

Rev. Robert Clifford at All Saints’ Church said the new location made sense.


“This location right downtown half way between the day program and the shelters seemed to make lots of sense,” Clifford said. “We have some real estate so we found a way to contribute to the good work that Feeding Windsor is doing here in the downtown and the fact is that the clients of the soup shack are our neighbours and one of the imperatives of the church is to feed people and we’re able to to do that by partnering with Feeding Windsor.”

Clifford said, “we need to find collective solutions for the problems of homelessness and hunger and while this is a band-aid solution to see 100 people walk away each evening with their bellies filled, is while sad, warms my heart for the moment it’s happening.” Top Stories

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