South Nashville Soup Kitchen Faces Major Cutbacks
by Adam Ghassemi
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Some people who already have to worry about finding a place to stay may now have another big problem: finding food. A small neighborhood program to feed the homeless is having to make major cutbacks.
Tucked into the basement of Seay-Hubbard United Methodist Church, you'll find people always willing to help. Weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Elizabeth's Table feeds up to 80 people daily.
"It's a blessing to be here. I just pray it's open every day," said recipient Bruce Ewing.
People from this hard South Nashville neighborhood often don't have anywhere else to go for a hot meal, or a place just to escape.
"I feel more comfortable here than anywhere else," said longtime recipient Kory Kinnard.
Outreach Coordinator Leo Poitras has been doing this 11 years all because, to him, there's no job more important.
"Every life that you fulfill a need with is a life changed. And a life changed is a life that will benefit other people," Poitras said Tuesday.
A yearly online contest, which donated $10,000 to the program, recently ended. So Elizabeth's Table has stopped offering food boxes, and now just serves meals. If it wasn't for weekly food donations from places like Feed America First and Whole Foods, the cutbacks would be a lot deeper.
"We used to pick-up food every day. So now we only pick-up twice a week," Poitras said.
It's a reality they are dealing with as people who rely on them hope the only stable source of food around doesn't go away.
"I hate to even think about that. I really would. It's like a life saver for me," said Kinnard.
Without it, the homeless would have one less option from a place that will never run out of the urge to help, even if the food does.
"Thousands of people will be homeless and hungry if he closed up," Ewing went on to say.
People interested in helping can call Leo Poitras at (615) 812-5119 or contact the program at:
1116 1st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37210