For 13 years, Helen's Soup Kitchen in Crowley has been churning out meals on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the less fortunate.
“This was a residence that was donated to St. Michael's Church for the purpose of building a soup kitchen.” said Manager Don Gautreaux.
The great-grandmother of the family who donated this home knew something about charity as well. Helen would prepare meals for the community during the great depression, so it makes since that not much has changed in The home, except where bedrooms once were, it's pantries fully stocked by food banks and Walmart. Gautreaux says this allows them to serve between 500 and 700 meals a week.
“We turn out about 150-160 meals a day and that goes up to 200 when schools are not operational.” said Gautreaux.
And no one makes a dime here in the kitchen
“Everyone here is a volunteer from Crowley and surrounding areas. Women in certain card groups or bingo groups and those groups have been coming since day one.” said Gautreaux.
“I had my needs, but I didn't have my wants and I know what it's like to be down and I appreciate being down because it allows me to appreciate the small things.” said Volunteer Debbie Belle Isle.
He adds, long after he's gone, the kitchen will continue to serve people with food and kindness and free of judgement, as everyone who enters the doors by the small makeshift chapel are welcomed, regardless of circumstance.
“A lot of times we find that it's not because people can't afford their food, it just allows them to be able to spend money on other things.” said Gautreaux.