The holidays aren’t the only good time to volunteer. Your community benefits when you give your time to a local soup kitchen. Read on to learn how and why to help a charity like this.

Search For Your Local Food Pantry




Homelessness In The United States

According to data as of 2018, U.S. homelessness still has high numbers on a single night. The National Alliance to End Homelessness says 552,830 people experienced homelessness. Of this number, 180,413 were people in families, and 372,417 were individuals. Families often experience homelessness due to a financial crisis. These can be a medical emergency, death in the family, or a car accident. Certain situations prevent families from keeping their homes. They usually need help to find jobs, housing, or assistance with rent.

Approximately 15 percent of homeless people are homeless for long periods of time. The number of chronically homeless people in the U.S. has declined by 21 percent since 2010. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of people living on the streets or in shelters. These people could use your help, especially during the colder months.

Find A Soup Kitchen Near You

Soup kitchens are always looking for volunteers, but it’s still important that you call ahead of time. The holidays especially encourage many groups and individuals to volunteer. Do some homework to see which soup kitchen or shelter has the biggest need for volunteers.

There are many online resources available for people who wish to help the homeless any time of the year. Check out HomelessShelterDirectory.org to find a list of soup kitchens near you.

Feeding America is another great resource for finding local food banks in your area. They secure and distribute more than 3 billion meals throughout the U.S. each year.

FoodPantries.org is a third resource which allows you to search for soup kitchens. Use this to find nonprofit organizations committed to fighting hunger.

Donate To Local Soup Kitchens

Besides serving food at local soup kitchens, in-kind donations are also needed. Food banks and soup kitchens are always looking for donations such as:

  • Canned goods, especially carrots, peas, green beans, and beans.
  • Canned fruit, especially sliced apples, peaches, pineapples, and mixed fruit.
  • Coffee creamer, sugar/sweetener, and teabags.
  • Salad dressings, including mayonnaise. Check out Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo, who is working to end world hunger.
  • Personal care products for men and women, including shampoo and soap.
  • Napkins, tissues, dish soap, laundry detergent.
  • Clothing such as hats, mittens, and scarves.

Other Ways To Help

Help your community even more! Here are a few simple resources to benefit charity locally: