Howell church reveals plan to initiate a soup kitchen

Staff Writer

HOWELL — Volunteers from the Immanuel Bible Church, a contemporary evangelical church on West Farms Road, are hoping to feed the bodies and souls of the less fortunate in the community.

The culmination of years of prayer and discussion will be reached when the church community unveils its new soup kitchen service on Oct. 15 from 5-6:30 p.m.

Church members hope the kitchen will initially be available every third Monday of the month, with the potential of expansion in the future.

Maureen Nevins, who owns Quality Plus Caters LLC, Allentown, has attended the church for 16 years and said the kitchen is needed now more than ever.

“It’s just the way that the economy is today. There is such a great need. People are very distraught. They need help,” Nevins said. “We have a vision and we need to serve the community and we need to give back. We are so blessed and we need to share that.”

Since the church does not have an adequate kitchen, food will be prepared at Nevins’ catering business and served buffet style in the church’s Fellowship Hall.

Nevins is hoping that in the future, money can be raised to upgrade the church’s kitchen. That upgrade would enable the food to be prepared on site to more easily serve those in need.

“We are reaching out to the community and serving them not only physically, but spiritually as well,” she said.

The soup kitchen is part of the church’s outreach, which Joe Suozzo, pastor, said is a mandate from God based on scripture.

“We are invited by God to reach out to those who are needy in the community,” Suozzo said. “We have to remember Christ came not wealthy. Though he was a king, he did not come as a wealthy king. He came as a common person and as a poor man. We are trying not to be inward focused, but outward focused.”

Michelle Wells, who has attended the church for four years, agreed.

“We want to be a light into the neighborhood and we want to be able to be a help to people in the community and to reach them with God’s love,” Wells said.

Wells lamented the current economic state that has only increased the need for such outreach.

“People are losing their jobs, if they haven’t already, or they can’t find new jobs. People are losing hope and people are losing their faith. They are just scared,” she said. “We are here really to lend a helping hand, to reach out and fill the need of the people in our neighborhood.

“That is what Jesus teaches us, to feed and take care of the poor and to be there for them,” she added.

The soup kitchen is not the only example of outreach and charitable efforts by the church community.

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon, the Mercy House, a clothes and food pantry located at the parsonage house, opens its doors to the community.

On Sept. 29 the Immanuel Bible Church will hold its inaugural community family day, which will feature food, games and live music to encourage outreach and fellowship among the church community.