The Suzanne Aubert Compassion Centre Soup Kitchen celebrates 114 years of service to the community in Wellington this year.
For six days every week, the Soup Kitchen provides two hot meals a day, and this Friday, they're holding their annual Street Day Appeal.
Soup Kitchen Manager, Steve Flude says, "Wellingtonians have supported the work of the Soup Kitchen for many years now, and, although we would love to live in a society which doesn’t require this kind of service, we are proud to support those in need to live with dignity in the community."
The Soup Kitchen was founded by the French Catholic missionary, Suzanne Aubert, who established the well-known community of the Daughters of our Lady of Compassion.
“Suzanne Aubert was a woman ahead of her time, she was an innovator and an implementer, unafraid to get her hands dirty and make things happen,” says Flude.
Mother Aubert was a reputable nurse, honouring the indigenous knowledge of the Māori she lived among. She was recognised for her pioneering approach to addressing social needs.
In October 1903, she opened the first childcare centre in New Zealand, in Buckle Street, Wellington. Aubert, who will be canonised later this year, will become New Zealand’s first saint.
In 2014, the Soup Kitchen served over 10,000 breakfasts and 18,000 dinners.
The Appeal offers the opportunity to engage with the public and raise awareness of the plight of many New Zealanders struggling to make ends meet.
The Soup Kitchen encourages individuals to give generously to ensure the continuation of this service.
“Every day we are blown away by the generosity shown towards the Soup Kitchen and its guests. We have a community of over 200 volunteers and a waiting list of 50+, each bringing their unique skill-set to ensure we are able to continue our service to the highest standard," says Flude.
The Soup Kitchen works closely with other Wellington social service organisations providing an array of services. Alongside the provision of meals, the Soup Kitchen operates the ‘Soup Hub’, a computer suite for guests.
Guests have free access to essential computer use, including email, internet access and printing. Volunteers are on hand to provide assistance in everything from writing CVs to creating an email address and searching the internet.
The Soup Kitchen also runs a community garden tended by guests at Mōkai Kāinga in Owhiro Bay, and organises the "Gathering", a monthly catch-up with afternoon tea and entertainment for seniors in our community.
Txt SOUP to 4483 to donate $3 to the Soup Kitchen, and check out more information here on their website.