Residents filled the tables at St. Patrick’s/St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Grand Haven for the annual Soup for All. More than 300 people attended, raising more than $26,000, event chairman Dave Ruwe said.
About 60 percent of the funds raised will go toward housing assistance and the remaining will benefit food pantries.
Ruwe said it’s a “great community event” with people coming together and supportive businesses.
People lined up outside the church prior to the 11:30 a.m. start time. Those who couldn’t attend were able to order “to go” meals.
Nel VanderHeide, who attended the event for the first time Thursday, said she was amazed at the turnout.
Ann White, who has attended Soup For All for several years, said she came out to support a good cause and because it’s fun. She said they often run into others they know at the luncheon.
“It’s wonderful to live in a community that’s so supportive,” White added.
Chris Oosting noted that all of the soups were great.
Kellen Kiley attended the event with his wife, Mary, and two of their three children.
“It’s soup for a good cause,” Kiley said.
Once their children are all in school, Mary Kiley said she hopes to get involved in the event as a volunteer.
Money raised through Thursday’s event will be dispersed by Christmas to local organizations that submit applications and give presentations.
Sarah Elliott, the homeless liaison for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, said the community’s support plays a large role in helping families. She noted the program was among the grant recipients from last year’s Soup For All.