GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) Joy Soup Kitchen in Greenville has kicked off a new program in an effort to reach more people in the community.
The soup kitchen will extend its program to weekends and will now feed folks every Saturday from 10:30 to 1 p.m.
Board Member Karen Stephenson says the kitchen can now serve the community every Saturday all thanks to a grant from Vidant Medical Center.
"It's really critical because we're at the point now where food sustainability in this area is really difficult. We're doing about 28-30,000 meals a year here," says Stephenson
Joy Soup Kitchen is the only soup kitchen in Pitt County and Stephenson says it takes around $45,000 to keep the kitchen running.
Since the soup kitchen is not federally funded, the grant helps keep the kitchen afloat.
Chairman Rodney Coles says the kitchen is a blessing.
"Service is the rich you pay for the space you take up on earth. It's about giving and to see the smiles on people."
Western Bunns, a frequent visitor, says he always leaves with a full stomach and a full heart.
"I come right on in here, get me a sandwich or something and it'll tie me up for a little while and I'm happy," says Bunns.
Stephenson says that is exactly what it's all about.
"You walk out of here some nights and you cry because you don't realize how blessed you really are until you see what other people don't have."
Joy Soup Kitchen also serves hot meals weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., and Tuesday and Thursday nights from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
You can visit the Joy Soup Kitchen Facebook page for more details on their programs and even some cooking tips.