February 14, 2014 7:13 pm
Updated: February 17, 2014 7:08 am

Soup Sisters helping Saskatoon domestic abuse victims


Watch the video above: Soup Sisters/Broth Brothers is helping domestic abuse victims in Saskatoon.

SASKATOON – There’s nothing better than a bowl of homemade soup to warm the soul and Saskatoonians stirred up a big batch Thursday evening. It’s part of a program called Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers. It began in Calgary in 2009 and now Saskatchewan has its own division of the program.

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The concept is simple, enjoy an evening out, cook up some soup and know that dozen’s of families in need of a nutritious meal and a nice gesture are benefiting.

On the receiving end of the bulk batch of soup is Interval House, a transitional residence for women and children who’ve recently escaped domestic violence.

Friday morning, volunteer Cecilia Rajanayagam arrives at Interval House with a delivery – 98 liters of soup Rajanayagam and 30 other volunteers prepared Thursday evening. Rajanayagam smiles while loading the soup into the freezer at Interval House.

“Hamburger soup,” she smiles “a big favorite with the kids.”

It’s among a variety of nutritious and delicious soups prepared in the industrial kitchen at SIAST’s Kelsey Campus Thursday evening under the new Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers program.

“We provide the facilities and the student help,” said chef instructor Paul Wheeler. “It seems to be working pretty well”.

Becoming a participant, or, Soup Sister/Broth Brother, costs $55. The money is used to purchase fresh ingredients to make the soup recipes. The College’s chef instructors coach the volunteers through the directions and the evening ends with the group enjoying appetizers, wine and soup of their own but most rewarding, is the delivery.

“It’s usually about 10 families are here,” said Verl Mastin with Interval House. “About 10 women with their children at any given time, so we’ll be serving a houseful really.”

Of the 98 liters delivered, excited residents will be able to enjoy a couple of bowls today. The remainder will be frozen in a freezer donated by Soup Sisters. As women and their families transition from Interval House into their own homes in the coming weeks, they will be able to take the frozen soup with them to help out during the first couple days on their own.

Interval House has been a safe place for survivors of domestic violence in Saskatoon for 40 years. As a non-profit, the soup delivery goes a long way in helping the shelter save dollars and so much more.

“When someone is going through a hard time we think of soup as a warming, nourishing, soul nurturing type of dish,” said Rajanayagam.

And it’s a dish that will nurture the souls of hundreds as the monthly cooking program, is just getting started.

Cooking days will take place once a month with the soup always delivered to Interval House and Adelle House – a second stage transitional home for women and children.

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