Speaking of God’s timing, Swihart said he can see it in play for Faith Mission’s involvement. He said Faith Mission personnel are working on a strategic three-year plan, and one focus is to better serve the county.
“I think it’s cool to see God’s timing in place for this opportunity. It fell right in line with what we do as an organization,” Swihart said. “One of the things we do really well is food preparation. We serve three meals a day for our residents plus for walk-ins.”
Although Faith Mission and Chicago/Michiana Five for the Homeless’s main focus is working with the homeless, everyone involved in this venture is stressing that the soup kitchen will be open for everyone.
“Our number one focus is meeting the needs of the homeless, but also the elderly, low-income people, people who may be missing meals because they are on a fixed income,” Swihart said. “Maybe there are people living in cars, living on the edge or under-employed people who don’t qualify for federal food programs.”
Shaver agreed that there is a need for a soup kitchen in Nappanee. Shaver said he’s involved in a mentoring program at Woodview Elementary School and knows some of the young people who receive two free meals at school.
“I’ve talked to them and sometimes they get no supper at all,” he said.
John Shafer said, “There are so many unemployed, so many seniors and families struggling paycheck to paycheck. There are always people impoverished — those who are trying to choose between meals and rent. Having a soup kitchen is a great way to bring the community together.”
Some of Nappanee’s city officials didn’t know a lot of details about the soup kitchen but were supportive.