Soup kitchen sees increased demand during summer

MIDLAND -- Many West Texas soup kitchens feed more children during the summer than other seasons of the year.

The Midland Soup Kitchen Ministry has been a staple in the community since 1987.

And one thing the kitchen's operators have found over the years is that when school is out, and subsidized lunch programs end, more children walk through their door.

The owner of the soup kitchen ministry, Nancy Ivy, said from 11:30 to 1:30 every week day they normally feed more than 100 people.

“When the kids are in school, we feed about a hundred people. When it’s time for summer, we’re feeding about 120 or 130, and that’s where all the kids come from,” Ivy said.

Although the daily demand increases, Ivy said they are excited to share their food and the Word of God with more people.

“It’s just more food that I have to make, and that’s never a problem. The Lord gives me the strength, and the Lord provides the meals,” Ivy said.

One of the families the ministry has helped, are the Cavins. When they fell on hard times two weeks ago, they needed a helping hand.

“We’re low on income and needed some groceries. We needed to eat so we came over here,” David Cavin said.

When the family of four arrived at the kitchen, they were pleasantly surprised.

“It was, like, 15 minutes ‘till closing. They were cleaning up, but provided us a meal at the last minute. So, and that took my breath away pretty much,” David Cavin.

David, his wife, and twin 12-year-old daughters have visited the kitchen twice since that day.

Wearing a bright blue t-shirt and a big smile, Shannon Cavin rattled off her favorite meals.

“I like the vegetable soup. It’s very good! And the sloppy joes,” Shannon Cavin said.

The younger twin, Shawna Cavin, expressed her appreciation of the kitchen’s atmosphere and the short sermon preached during the meal.

“The paintings are great. And I like their food, I like their preaching. I really do like their preaching, and we get along here. We get along, It’s like a family here,” Shawna Cavin.

The family said the kitchen not only fulfilled their needs, but left a lasting impact on their family, as well as other visitors.

“I get to see people get saved by the preaching and getting touched by the Lord,” Shannon Cavin said.

The Cavins said they’re grateful for the help during their time of need. And David Cavin used the time as a teaching tool for his two young daughters.

“I try to let them know that everybody goes through troubles sometimes. I mean, we could be without a home and without a place to live. And there’s people that have nothing at all,” David Cavin said.

The Midland Soup Kitchen Ministry isn’t the only organization that sees an influx of children who need a meal during the summer.

The West Texas Food Bank’s Summer Food Program for children 18 years old and under also serves thousands of free meals over the course of the summer.

The website www.foodpantriesnear.me allows internet users to search for soup kitchens and food pantries near their ZIP code.