New Member – JOY Soup Kitchen

JOY Soup Kitchen has joined the Winterville Chamber with the help of Full Service Flooring’s sponsorship of the organization. JOY started as the Greenville Soup Kitchen in the mid-80s, and is the only soup kitchen in Pitt County that prepares and serves a free lunch, daily, Monday through Friday 10:30am-12:30pm and a free dinner Monday – Thursday 5-6pm to address an essential community need: Hunger. With a mission to decrease food insecurity while increasing the nutrition of those meals among the poor and homeless in our community, JOY Soup Kitchen is strategically located in one of the neighborhoods with the highest poverty levels in the city, whose residents experience high levels of food insecurity and lack access to quality, wholesome food. In the beginning JOY relied greatly on donated sandwiches and food that stores could no longer sell due to expiration dates or damaged packaging and have in the past two years, set themselves on a path of providing quality foods. Foods that you wouldn’t normally see at a soup kitchen. They feel that every individual who comes to JOY should be afforded the same opportunities to eat a variety of different, nutritious foods as everyone else.

Within walking distance to the Community Crossroads Center, which is a night-only homeless shelter that provides support for approximately 50 homeless individuals, JOY Soup Kitchen works in collaboration with other local organizations to provide additional services to the community. Many of the residents who stay at Crossroads come to JOY for meals. However, they don’t just offer food to those that are homeless or poor. Tom Quigley says that he thinks this is an old way of thinking, and is determined to offer meals to ANYONE who needs one. Hunger shouldn’t be embarrassing!

In 2020 JOY put out just under 28,000 meals, and in 2021 they surpassed 42,000. They’re always in need of volunteers – specifically people who are compassionate, and prepared to help others without judgement. To be able to give with a full heart and know that you are making a difference in someone’s life.

In 2022 the plan is to expand JOY Soup Kitchen into JOY CommUNITY Center. They are hoping to bring in as many services as possible to help our community. JOY is now partnering with West Greenville Health Council, TEDI Bear Children’s Advocacy, and Pathways for Life to bring different services to the area. They are hosting Children Activity Nights on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at JOY from 6:30-8pm and will begin hosting classes for parents and children with our partners.

“Poverty knows NO race, ethnicity or boundaries. People will always be in need and we have to be ready to meet that need.”

We are looking forward to being a part of helping JOY expand their programs, reach the people that need them most, and get the word out about volunteering!