The soup kitchen in Steinbach has noticed a big increase in the number of families accessing the Family Lunch Program. 

Joy Neufeld says the program has more than doubled since fall with 53 families now coming in each week to pick up enough food for school lunches and snacks to feed 170 children. 

While the needs increases, donations seem to be able to meet the demand. 

“If the volunteers stop, if the money stops, our kids go hungry,” says Neufeld. “And I think we get that. I think the community gets that, and so it doesn’t stop.” 

There are between 25 and 30 volunteers who show up at Soup’s On each week for the lunch program. 

She says nobody wants to think of a child going hungry, and people in the Southeast show they really care and will do what they need to do to take care of the children. 

“Just like the poverty keeps blowing me away, but the financial support part is always there,” Neufeld says. “And it's the $20, that children have had a lemonade stand over summer that they bring me. It's the $10 that a grandparent gives me because their children are part of the program, and I know that $10 hurts. That's as valuable as $100 or $200 from a business. So, it doesn't matter how small it is, it almost always comes with a very special story. And so those donations are every bit as tremendous as the $1000 from the businessman.” 

She says between the School Lunch Program and the Family Lunch Program, the soup kitchen gives out over 800 pieces of fresh fruit and 900 packets of fresh veggies in one week. 

What is the difference between these two programs? One program has families pick up lunch supplies every week, and they make the lunches at home for their kids to bring with them to school. The other program sees lunch supplies brought to schools within the Hanover School Division and schools offer food to students who don’t bring a complete lunch with them. 

To help keep these programs running, keeping up with increasing need, financial donations are being accepted. Visit their website at to find out more information about accessing the lunch programs and how to support them. 

As Neufeld continues to see the financial donations come into the soup kitchen, she remarks, “we know how to feed our kids. No child needs to go hungry.”