Ken (who asked his last name not be published) prepares to try out some hamburger soup with vegetables Tuesday morning at Joe’s soup kitchen. Volunteers Karen Bauder and Moe Tremblay (who made the soup) served several dozen people. Church parishioners voted 97 per cent to revive the soup kitchen with more control and more focus on feeding the needy after it was shut down last year because of complaints about people setting up camp in the neighbourhood.

Joe’s soup kitchen reopens

After closing its weekly meal service program last May, St. Joseph’s Catholic church is once again dishing up hot soup on Tuesdays

Soup’s on once again at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

On Tuesday, volunteers served soup and a bun to some of Langley’s most vulnerable people for the first time since the kitchen closed last May.

“They distributed 109 bowls of soup this morning and the soup was very good,” said Keirnan Hillan, chair of the church’s charities committee.

In May 2015, after numerous complaints about homeless encampments on and around church property, the parish decided to temporarily close the soup kitchen and its Saturday drop-in program.

“It was impacting the neighbours too much,” said Hillan.

“A question was put to the parish whether they wanted to do the soup kitchen again and there was an overwhelming yes, with a caveat that we don’t impact our neighbours too much and that we are meeting the needs of people that really need it.”

The soup kitchen has been scaled down, no longer offering clothing and bags of food to take away. There will be help on site to make sure people move on after the meal.

“I was there this morning to make sure people didn’t hang around afterwards. This will continue, to make sure that problems don’t arise,” said Hillan.

The church is putting on the soup kitchen as a six-month trial.

“(That is) because we are trying to be responsible citizens and making sure we are meeting the right needs and doing it the right way,” he said.

There is an ‘enthusiastic’ crew of volunteers wanting to make the soup kitchen a success.

At the time the soup kitchen closed, Langley City Mayor Ted Schaffer had met with Father Don Larson (who has since left the parish) about the concerns regarding homeless people gathering and camping out behind the church.

The City had issued the church a citation along with other organizations, including the Vineyard Church, informing them about complaints that had been raised and indicating violation tickets could be handed out.

The church issued its own statement when it closed, saying it was looking at reorganizing its outreach work.

Just Posted

City of Langley crews responding to gas main break

Public asked to avoid area of 198 Street, between 55 and 56 Avenues

Lower Mainland cools down as heat wave lifts

Environment Canada predicts temperatures in the mid to low 20s

Langley’s Brunsch bunch

It’s all relative for lacrosse-playing brothers who are teammates

Coleman decides against running for Surrey mayor

‘I’m a Langley guy,’ MLA says

Former White Rock Renegades aim to carve out time for themselves with Team Canada

Sara Groenewegen and Danielle Lawrie-Locke competing this week at Canada Cup

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

More lightning forecast as storm sparks 38 new wildfires in B.C.

22 new fires in are burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Banff’s bathroom bears returned to the park after 15 months of rehab in Ontario

Black bears, now yearlings, were sent to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Ontario last April

Monster trucks returning to Abbotsford

Monster Madness tour arriving in September

‘Recovery high schools,’ per diems urged to better manage addiction in B.C.

BC Centre for Substance Use says focus needs to shift to from overdose prevention to long-term care

More than $10,000 in Bitcoin paid in Richmond ransom scam

RCMP say victim transferred cash to Bitcoin ATM after being told partner had been abducted

Hells Angels celebrating 35th anniversary party on Vancouver Island

Additional police resources will be in Nanaimo this weekend as roughly 300 members and hang arounds are expected

New campaign aims to tide food waste at home

About 2.2 million tonnes of edible food is discarded in Canada every year

BC Nurses Union calls for decriminalization of opioids

BCNU president wants the federal government to do more to reduce preventable deaths

Most Read