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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Pueblo Community Soup Kitchen is integral to the community

Photo by Archie Wyatt

By Archie Wyatt

Serving almost 90,000 meals, 45,000 of those being lunches alone, Pueblo’s Soup Kitchen is a community service ensuring hundreds of people survive.  

However, it’s not just a case of a drive-thru style food service. For many, it gives people a feeling of being valued. 

“Just because you choose a different style of life doesn’t mean you should starve to death,” said the Director of the Soup Kitchen of almost five years, Helen Benavidez. 

“I don’t see this problem [of people needing to use the Soup Kitchen] going away at all. I just see the need for our service increasing more and more,” said Benavidez. 

For some, lifestyle choices range from gambling to drug addiction. For others, it’s plain economics. “Some people are living in their vehicles. Do you think people do that by choice?” 

Despite the need for the Soup Kitchen rising, food poverty has always been a prominent issue in the community. Initially, the Soup Kitchen was established by the defunct St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, and in 1990 the current Soup Kitchen’s building was built and the volunteer-led organization continues to provide. 

“We’re not just Catholic; we don’t just cover one denomination; we encompass all faiths,” said Benavidez. 

Nevertheless, being run by volunteers has its challenges, admitted Benavidez. “If we don’t get donations, if we don’t get the volunteers, we’re looking at a pretty sad reality for not only us but our clients too. It’s a ripple effect.” 

Reliant on donations, both financial and food, Benavidez hailed Pueblo’s generosity, “What we get is what we serve. We’re lucky that the people and businesses of Pueblo are so unselfish.”  

Yet, Benavidez recognizes this level of support isn’t infinite. With ever-increasing numbers of clients, Benavidez understands every little bit of help regarding donations. “We cook for 150 to 250 people a day. When I started, the monthly count was below 3,000. Now, it’s around the 4,000 mark. Every donation is so important to us.” 

Monetary donations can be made via their website @pueblosoupkitchen.org, while food donations can be given at the door of the Soup Kitchen.

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