“This is a record year for our 10th anniversary,” said The People Center’s Karen Reenders, one of the event's organizers. “This is the best year yet.”
More than 300 people packed the church to taste a variety of soups that ranged from clam chowder and potato bacon, to chicken tortilla and white chicken chili.
Reenders said her organization raised $10,000 at last year's soup lunch, and hoped to exceed that amount this year.
“The proceeds go to benefit homeless prevention programs in our community,” she said. “It is all application-based.”
Reenders noted that the bulk of the money goes toward rental assistance programs, while another portion helps local food pantries so people can spend money on housing.
Those attending Thursday's lunch said they like to be a part of an event that has an impact on the community.
“We come to the Soup for All every year,” Grand Haven resident Bonnie Suchecki said. “When God blesses you, the expectation is that you bless others.”
Bonnie and her husband, Kent, both said that in addition to the good soup and other treats, they enjoy the good company of the servers and other attendees.
“There’s a lot of people that we see every year,” she said. “It is always hard to find a seat.”