This Saturday, Soup’s On had their 20th Anniversary party at the Grace Mennonite Church and many came out to enjoy a free BBQ lunch and celebrate with this amazing organization.  

It was a beautiful afternoon to be outside. They also had kid’s activities including colouring, face painting, and bouncy castles.  

However, the celebration doesn’t end there. Joy Neufeld, founder of Soup’s On, announces her retirement.  

“Retirement has so many mixed emotions, it is hard,” Joy explains. “Then I think about the things I would like to do yet and it's easy, so that I can't begin to try to express the mixed emotions in retirement.” 

After 20 years of hard work, Joy says she isn’t getting off the bus, she just isn’t driving anymore. 

“It was time for younger minds, new vision to come on board, and I knew that,” she explains. “I was doing some of the things the same way I've done them for 20 years. And so, I have some amazing people that are here to pick up where I leave off. They are going to do just an absolute fabulous job and it was time.” 

Joy says she honours all the volunteers and could not have made it 20 years without the help of her team. 

“The first, 10 to 12 years there was no staff, it was just volunteers. So, you frequently hear me say the value behind the volunteer and that couldn't be more true, it couldn't be more accurate,” she shares. “Some have become lifelong friends. Some of them have literally volunteered for 18 years. Some started off with me and only quit after their health couldn't allow them to volunteer anymore.” 

Three volunteer crews and some of the longtime supper service volunteers gifted Joy with a framed picture of memories from the Soup’s On kitchen to thank her for her many years of service. They also gifted her and her family a 5-night stay at "The Cottage in Grand Marais." The Cottage host, Len Bergen of Royal Lepage Riverbend Realty) also contributed to the gift as his own personal "Thank you" to Joy.

“My family has made some sacrifices on my behalf. 20 years, very few Fridays off. They knew not to schedule a family event for Friday evening. So, we are going away to spend time at the cabin.” 

Joy and her familyJoy and her family

Steinbach Mayor, Earl Funk awards Joy with a Medallion for Outstanding Service in our community. 

“Joy has got 20 years of investing in people in our community and so I just wanted to honour her with one of those medals and then it comes with a lapel pin so that you can always wear that,” Funk says. “We just want to remember people that have done extraordinary good in our community and I don't know if anyone can match feeding families for 20 years.” 

Joy receiving a gift from the City of Steinbach, presented by Mayor Earl FunkJoy receiving a gift from the City of Steinbach, presented by Mayor Earl Funk

He continues, “It's sad we need an organizational but like this. But it's great that we have people that step up to the plate and hit the ball out of the park like this. It's just incredible.” 

Funk acknowledges the amazing work Joy has done for the community.  

“I just want to thank Joy for her sacrificial giving. I want to let her know that the City of Steinbach and Steinbach City Council congratulate her in the 20 years, and we wish her all the best in her retirement.” 

Joy plans to continue to volunteer for Soup’s On and is excited to spend time with her family, especially her grandchildren in her retirement.  

With files from Corny Rempel


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Check out some photos from the celebration: