NEWPORT, Ky. — A Newport soup kitchen is in desperate need of volunteers.
Henry Hosea House serves dinner seven nights a week, but Executive Director Bruce Stelzer said he's been struggling to find enough volunteers to make those meals happen.
The York Street soup kitchen has been a staple in the community since 1991. Meals are served daily from 4-5:30 p.m.
The pandemic changed things for the soup kitchen, including who and how many people they serve each night.
“The children dried up, I think there was a fear factor there,” Stelzer said.
“There was still government money, extended unemployment benefits and the like so people had funds and they didn’t need to come here. And then slowly we’ve started to see those numbers pick back up where we’re now serving 100 every night.”
Stelzer is passionate about Hosea House and thinks of everyone as friends who just need a little extra something to get by.
Stelzer estimates only about 15% of those served by the soup kitchen are homeless, the rest are working folks who can’t afford to pay the electric bill and go to the grocery.
Stelzer said he thinks inflation is driving up demand for help and they’re doing everything they can to meet those needs.
“They tend to be young, sober and embarrassed,” he said.
“These are people that were barely making it before and then with the inflation and milk’s $4 a gallon and they simply can’t do it. So we’ll have couples in here that will say, we’ve never needed help before and they’re a little embarrassed to be here.”
Hosea House only has a few people on staff, it is largely a volunteer effort during the week and 100% volunteer on the weekend.
Stelzer is encouraging church groups, athletic teams, small businesses, and anyone who has the passion to help to look into volunteering to serve a meal.
Click HERE to learn more about volunteering or donating a monetary gift.