In the heart of Muncie, a symbol of hope and community has devoted three decades to assisting individuals in need. Founded in 1994, the Soup Kitchen of Muncie, previously known as Harvest Soup Kitchen, was established by the late Garnet Wince and Father Grady from St. Mary Catholic Church, in response to the ongoing need to provide meals to the community. The kitchen is in the historical St. Lawrence School, at the intersection of Charles and Hackley streets, a well-known food desert. It welcomes the community with open arms five days a week, providing more than just meals; it offers a cozy and inclusive environment for everyone who walks through its doors.

“Serving food is a primary need that must be met,” said Loretta Parsons, executive director of the Soup Kitchen of Muncie. “If people in our community don’t have to worry about a safe place to get food, they can go on and accomplish other things to help them move forward in their lives.”

The mission of the Soup Kitchen is simple: to feed the hungry of Muncie and Delaware County with dignity and respect without regard to race, gender, sexuality or religious preference. “We treat our guests how we would like to be treated,” said Parsons. “We feed anyone who walks through our doors, no questions asked.”

Among the daily visitors is Billy, a single dad whose wife passed unexpectedly, leaving him to raise five children on his own. For Billy and his family, the soup kitchen has become more than a place to eat. It’s a place where the volunteers have stepped in to fill roles beyond what one might expect, offering support and becoming part of the extended family his children need.

In all of its 30 years, 2023 was the biggest year the kitchen ever had. It served around 40,000 people, which is close to 80,000 meals. That’s up nearly 15% since 2019. Inflation has sent food costs soaring, which has a huge impact on the kitchen. It relies on monetary and food donations, and volunteers to continue to support the underserved.

Volunteers serving up and giving back at the Soup Kitchen of Muncie.

The kitchen also collaborates with other nonprofits by donating meals as they can, to help more people in the community. “Women and children who reside in the YWCA often come with food insecurities,” said YWCA Executive Director WaTasha Barnes Griffin. “Every day we work with the Soup Kitchen of Muncie to ensure their needs are met. Monday through Friday our staff pick the meals up and bring them back to the shelter. We appreciate the valuable partnership with the Soup Kitchen of Muncie.”

On April 20 the kitchen team will host its 30th anniversary gala – the art-themed “Painting a Brighter Picture by Fighting Hunger, Feeding Hope” at the Horizon Convention Center. Businessman Fred Reese is at the helm of organizing the gala, with support from Muncie’s art scene. He is renowned for creating the acclaimed Rialzo gala for Meridian Health Services. Expect an evening of entertainment, said Reese. “This won’t be another boring fundraising lunch or dinner,” he said. “Get ready to be wowed.”

The kitchen offers food, fellowship and hope. “I believe we do offer hope here,” said Parsons. “Our guests realize they can do things to move forward in whatever struggle they’re going through.”

Help support the Soup Kitchen of Muncie. Gala sponsorship opportunities are available and ticket sales are live. For more information, or to simply donate, visit

Comments 1

  1. TINA CUMMINGS says:

    Amen 🙏 and God bless you all for helping

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