Thanks to the efforts of the Organic Soup Kitchen, 1,300 to 1,600 people will not go hungry this Thanksgiving. Located in the Veterans Building in downtown Santa Barbara and founded in 2009, the Organic Soup Kitchen provides organic, nutrient dense soups to the houseless or to anyone else struggling financially.
“Around the middle of 2009, I was noticing that there were a lot of people on the street in need, and that was the time of the economic downturn of the country,” said Founder Anthony Carroccio of how the Organic Soup Kitchen came to be. “And I just figured, let me start feeding people and that we did.”
The Organic Soup Kitchen focuses primarily on soup, as it contains a wide array of nutrients and is easily digestible. The soup contains no chemicals or pesticides, and uses organic herbs and spices that provide anti-inflammatory benefits and balanced blood sugars. These soups are ideal for those who cannot always count on more than one meal a day.
In addition to serving meals during the holidays, the Organic Soup Kitchen partners up with other organizations to make a collective impact. By providing nutritious soups during events put on by their partners, such as Common Ground Santa Barbara and the Transition House, Organic Soup Kitchen is able to extend its reach to more people in need. The result is a coalition of non-profit organizations working together to help the widest population of the disadvantaged.
This Thanksgiving, the Organic Soup Kitchen will host its fifth annual Thanksgiving Day Feast at the Veterans Building. During this event, volunteers will serve meals to more than 300 hungry mouths on Thanksgiving Day, with additional soups handed out during the week prior to Thanksgiving.
“We do outreach, so we’ll also be taking meals out to different facilities,” Carroccio said. “It’ll be a grand total of about 1300-1600 people.”
During the Thanksgiving Day feast, the Organic Soup Kitchen serves people from all walks of life. Everyone is accepted with open arms.
“During our Thanksgiving event, we serve everyone from millionaires to the homeless, and everyone in between,” Carroccio said. “If you have a desire to come to the Veterans Building and celebrate Thanksgiving with us, no one is turned away.”
The Thanksgiving Day Feast will be held at the Veterans Building at 112 West Cabrillo Boulevard on Thursday, Nov. 28, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone interested in volunteering should visit the Organic Soup Kitchen’s website. And anyone staying in school for the duration of break should consider having a warm and nutritious meal with this organization.
The generosity of this organization is overtly apparent, from its quality ingredients to its altruistic mission statement. When asked what made him start this annual Thanksgiving Day Feast five years ago, Carroccio responded with, “I think that when people are down and out, no one really wants to stand up for them. I want to be the guy that does.”