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Westfield Soup Kitchen closing unfortunate

October 22, 2015
Westfield Republican

Dear Editor:

Many have heard the "rumor" about the closure of the Westfield Soup Kitchen by the local Episcopal Church - subsequent news articles and television reports now confirm what we have been hearing.

As someone, along with many others, that has contributed to the Soup Kitchen and deeply believe in their mission I am dismayed at this news. The Soup Kitchen has been a staple of our community for more than two decades and the services of the volunteers that make this a wonderful service for the people that rely on it for nourishment but also for socialization is something that speaks of "community" and also exemplifies the best of a small community. To have this taken away is a deep loss to all of the people relying on the service but also a loss to the image of our caring community.

I am told that the Episcopal Church receives a monthly rental fee from the Soup Kitchen and am sure these funds will be missed by the church. However, now I understand the church has terminated the lease in order to offer counseling services. This "new use" doesn't seem to be a use that needs the big room the soup kitchen currently uses as most counseling services are done in private or in small groups and I am aware that the church has other rooms where this can be accommodated.

The glaring questions are, what has really caused the church to terminate this lease AND will some other community minded and mission driven group offer space for the Soup Kitchen to continue their service to those in our community that are in need?

Helen M. Baran




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