Kathie Rife

Daily Point of Light # 5363 Dec 4, 2014

The atmosphere suggests top-shelf dining, with linen tablecloths, nice plates and tableware, and service that always comes with a smile.

What else would one expect from a soup kitchen that provides hot meals to the elderly, the homeless, the unemployed, the underemployed, and those seeking a little companionship? That’s the restaurant-caliber vision for Soup Angels in Nyack, NY, the volunteer organization started 9 years ago by Kathie Rife and her co-founders.

It began as a local soup kitchen with service on Sunday evenings. But Kathie felt that while Sunday Supper was meeting a real need, there were still people that were going hungry during the week. She felt compelled to fill that need. So Kathie began the Wednesday night edition of the soup dinner, feeding less than a dozen people that first night.

Now, Kathie and her band of Soup Angels regularly provide 80 to 100 meals on Wednesdays, and have even expanded their program to include a Monday night meal. At the conclusion of each meal, Soup Angels guests are welcome to take home a sandwich and salad for the next day.

Recent reports stated that there are more than 43,000 people living below the poverty level in Rockland County NY. Over half those people do not qualify for federal nutrition programs and must rely on charitable food assistance programs. Soup Angels is an all-volunteer organization supported by local restaurants, grocery stores and corporate sponsors. Soup Angels volunteers contribute in many ways, from shopping and cooking to serving meals and doing administrative work. Kathie and her group actively raise money and spread the word about the need and their work by exhibiting at local street fairs.

Kathie brought her vision for a top-shelf dining experience to hungry people in need, serving hope and strengthening the bonds of her community. That makes Kathie a Daily Point of Light. Do you know someone like Kathie that is leading by example in the community where you live? Submit a nomination today at http://www.pointsoflight.org/programs/recognition/dpol/nomination.