Long before there was a Jubilee Center, there was the soup kitchen, as it was known in 1985. Then pastor, Fr. Cardone, asked the congregation to bring all their Thanksgiving turkey carcasses to the church kitchen to make soup to feed the many hungry people waiting at the doors of the church. From those meager beginnings at Emmanuel Episcopal Church until today, the community kitchen is staffed by 16 local churches of all denominations and provides a hot lunch 52 weeks each year to over 6000 individuals, adults and children.
Jesus commands us over and over to “feed the hungry, feed my sheep, feed, feed, feed. Food is the most basic of all human needs, and that is why food is given graciously and without question to anyone who comes to the door of The Jubilee Center.
From a Soup Kitchen volunteer, “The surprise for me is when I feed others, they also feed me -- my spirit. There is as much grace for me as for them, imagine that!”
The Soup Kitchen is under the long-time leadership of Stan McGroaty, a member at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in downtown Rockford. Under Stan’s watchful eye the soup kitchen opens and closes without fail. Stan sets the schedule for the participating churches, manages any breakdowns or missteps and always gives from his heart -- time, talent and donations. If you or your church is interested in participating in the soup kitchen, please contact Stan at 815-964-5514.
The Soup Kitchen opens its doors every Saturday from noon to 12:30 at the Jubilee Center.