Two Million Meals!


One of the hallmarks of the early Christian Church was the sharing of food. The early church felt the calling of Christ to serve people in need in a spirit of compassion and love. The Samaritan Soup Kitchen answers that call every day,serving lunch to anyone that is hungry, no questions asked.


The Samaritan Soup Kitchen came into being due to the increasing problem of hunger in our community. A group of church leaders met late in 1980 to discuss opening a Soup Kitchen. A mere three months later, the Samaritan Soup Kitchen opened at 1243 Patterson Avenue. On that day, twenty-six people enjoyed vegetable soup and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on English muffins.

From those humble beginnings came a legacy of love and compassion. The Soup Kitchen grew each year in service thanks to the generosity of volunteers and donors. By the late 1990's, it was clear that the Soup Kitchen had become outdated and in need of renovation. Thanks to a generous grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Samaritan Ministries remodeled the Soup Kitchen in 1999. The remodeling not only improved the look and feel of the kitchen, but also improved the efficiency of the kitchen.

In the year 2002, an average of 222 people per day ate lunch in the Soup Kitchen, and the Soup Kitchen served a record 129,919 meals overall. Additionally, the Soup Kitchen serves dinner and breakfast to our guests in the Samaritan Inn homeless shelter. Combined, the Samaritan Soup Kitchen serves more than 300 meals per day on average. Volunteers do most of the cooking and serving chores in the Soup Kitchen, a remarkable feat given that the Kitchen never closes. As the year 2003 ends, the Samaritan Soup Kitchen is marking two million meals served since that humble start of 26 meals in 1981!

A little goes a long way!

The Samaritan Soup Kitchen purchases most of the food it serves from the Second Harvest Food Bank and the US Department of Agriculture (UDSA). While these food purchases save thousands of dollars each year, Samaritan Ministries relies on food donations to keep costs low as well.

Food shows up at the back door of the Soup Kitchen routinely. Sometimes, a farmer or gardener drops off some extra corn or tomatoes. Other times, a business drops off leftovers from a banquet the night before. Still other businesses share desserts or bread with the Soup Kitchen. Soup Kitchen Manager Cathie Dorgan puts all these donated and purchased items together and comes up with a wide variety of nutritious meals.

The combination of food purchases and donations keeps food costs very low! In the year 2002, Samaritan Soup Kitchen served 129,919 meals at an average food cost of just 27 cents per meal! Even if you factor in the preparation costs (utilities, staff salaries, etc.), a warm Soup Kitchen meal costs just $1.30 to buy and prepare!

Food Donations

Samaritan Ministries relies heavily on donated food items. There's no need to schedule a food donation, simply stop by Samaritan Ministries at 1243 Patterson Avenue, pull up to the back loading dock and ring the doorbell. You will receive a slip acknowledging your donation for tax purposes.

While Samaritan Soup Kitchen welcomes home grown food, due to Health Department regulations, we cannot accept home canned foods. Thank you for your generosity toward hungry and homeless people in our community.

Samaritan Soup Kitchen - Volunteer Guidelines

The Soup Kitchen simply could not operate without the love and commitment of volunteers. Each day, people from all faiths and occupations come together to serve food to people. Volunteering at the Soup Kitchen is both fun and hard work. More importantly, volunteering at the Soup Kitchen allows you to grow in your awareness of the needs of the poor, and to offer compassion in the face of suffering.

The Samaritan Soup Kitchen is located at 1243 Patterson Avenue, at the corner of Patterson Avenue and Northwest Boulevard. Read on for more information on volunteer opportunities at Samaritan Soup Kitchen, or call 748-1962 to join our team!

Soup Kitchen Team Leader

Purpose: The Soup Kitchen Team Leader provides leadership to each Soup Kitchen team. The Leader encourages volunteers to grow in their awareness and understanding of the needs of the poor. He or she also demonstrates faith, love and hospitality. The Team Leader reports directly to and receives training from Soup Kitchen Manager Cathie DuPre

Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Welcome volunteers at 9:00 a.m. (10:00 a.m. on Sunday)
  • Supervises lunch preparation, serving and cleanup
    • Reviews menu and assign tasks to team members
    • Assumes responsibility for safe operation of all kitchen equipment
    • Reviews and implements sanitation and safety procedures
  • Ministry
    • Demonstrates Mission: "Providing hope and healing by sharing, food, shelter and companionship with the hungry and homeless through Christian love and service"
    • Assists with devotions and prayer
  • Secures dining room upon completion of lunch
  • Encourages team members to find substitutes in the event of their absence
  • Arranges for 5th day teams (Monday-Friday only)
  • Assists with the recruiting of other Soup Kitchen Team Leaders and Members
  • Advises Soup Kitchen Manager of team member changes
  • Communicates with Soup Kitchen Manager regarding any needs or concerns in the Soup Kitchen

Time Commitment:

  • 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Monday-Friday (twice per month), OR
  • 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Saturday (once per month), OR
  • 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Sunday (once per month)

** Soup Kitchen Team Leaders must switch shifts with other Team Leaders in the event of an absence.

Soup Kitchen Team Member

Purpose: Soup Kitchen Team Members help prepare and serve lunch to the guests at Samaritan Soup Kitchen. Additionally, Team Members clean the kitchen and dining room after serving lunch.

Responsibilities: Volunteers must arrive on time and communicate with the Soup Kitchen Team Leader whenever necessary. Volunteers receive on-the-job training. Volunteers must arrange for a substitute in their absence.

Age Requirements: Youth must be 13 years of age to volunteer in the Soup Kitchen without a supervising adult. For the safety of our guests and volunteers, no one under the age of 13 may enter the Soup Kitchen. These age guidelines ensure a safe and meaningful experience for our guests and volunteers.

Time Commitment:

  • 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Monday - Saturday
  • 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Sunday

Dress: Wear comfortable clothes and shoes (bleach is sometimes used in the kitchen)

Lunch: Volunteers are welcome to eat lunch in the Soup Kitchen during their shift

"People Are Talking"

"It is such a joy and blessing to put on an apron and serve our brothers and sisters that make their way to the kitchen."

"You know, you meet some of the nicest and sweetest people in the world right there in that kitchen."

"I am an old man, but young at heart. At 84, my desire is to be a blessing to people and thank the Lord for the privilege."

"Working with the beautiful people who volunteer here has been a wonderful experience."

"Serving the clients helps me to know I am part of the solution."

Samaritan Ministries
1243 Patterson Avenue
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Phone: 336-748-1962
Fax: 336-748-8207
Sonjia Kurosky Executive Director
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