Earlier this week, the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen sounded the alarm on social media, in need of $10,000 in donations to cover its expenses for the month of November.
“Our monthly expenses for basic costs is roughly $20,000 a month,” executive director Bill Ginther said. “That is for wages, insurance, utilities, just the basic bare bones costs to operate.”
“We’ve been seeing the last several months only about 10,000 (dollars a month) has come in.”
Thanks to the generosity of the community, that number has been reached, but Ginther doesn’t expect the relief to last.
“We did get a pretty good influx of dollars and we’re fine for November, but it doesn’t mean that we’re fine beyond the month,” Ginther said.
“We are in a very tenuous position of, if we can’t provide, what should people do?”
But while fewer fundraising events and grants are making it harder for the soup kitchen to find funds, the need for its services is increasing.
The organization provides roughly 7,000 meals a month and Minnie Alexander is serving more people now than ever before.
“Last year at this time if we hit about 100 meals served in the evening, that was a really busy night for us,” Alexander, the evening meal coordinator, said.
“Now, my busiest night was 151 meals served, so obviously the demand for a soup kitchen is huge.”
Without the necessary dollars, the kitchen can’t operate, leaving those who rely on the food provided by the group out in the cold.
“Food is huge. We could never provide meals without it and we do great with the food donations,” Alexander said. “A lot of people like to give food but it’s harder to hand over cash I think.”
“Without the cash we just can’t keep going.”
The non-profit had been using its reserves to cover costs, but Ginther says those have now been depleted.