The Light of Life Soup Kitchen This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


     Didyou ever wonder what it would feel like to be so hungry that you could onlyconcentrate on food? I had an experience several months ago that really opened myeyes to hunger in Pittsburgh. My church planned a trip to the North Side Light ofLife Soup Kitchen one Sunday afternoon, and my mom decided to take part. When sheinvited me along, I really did not want to go, but figured I might get a trip tothe mall on the way home.

My mom and I prepared our contribution of foodto take to the soup kitchen. The meal was rigatoni with meat sauce, green beans,bread and butter, bananas, cookies and drinks. Arriving with other churchmembers, I could not believe my eyes. There were lines of homeless people waitingfor us to bring in the food so they could eat. Each was given a number and whenthe numbers ran out, the rest were turned away, even if they had had nothing toeat that day. I saw men, women, children, babies; people of all ages. I wassurprised by how many people were waiting.

There were two dining rooms,one for men and the other for women and their children. Once we were set up, thehost began letting people in the door. The whole process of feeding 175 peopletook less than two hours. Everyone we served was very appreciative that my churchhad cooked them dinner, commenting on how good the food was and asking if wewould be back the following week. I was touched by their kindness.

Ihated to see so many people hungry and homeless. I kept looking at the childrenand wondering where they would be sleeping that night. I felt sorry for the men;they looked so sad and weary. I wondered if they ever saw their families. Some ofthe men and women commented that they had not eaten in three days. I wasshocked.

Needless to say, I never even mentioned stopping at the mall onthe way home. What I did ask my mom was if I could go to the soup kitchen againsoon. Our church began planning monthly trips, and my mom and I always attend. Ireally feel good about spending time to help others. I have even organizedclothing and toy drives so that when I arrive at the shelter, I have clothes andtoys to pass out after dinner. Everyone is always appreciative, and no one everforgets to say thank you.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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