Fairbanks soup kitchen prepares for Thanksgiving season

A spotlight on a local soup kitchen that's serving up help for the community in a big way.
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 4:48 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - As Thanksgiving approaches, Fairbanks non-profit Bread Line, Inc. is busy preparing for the holiday season.

The non-profit runs Stone Soup Cafe, a soup kitchen near downtown Fairbanks.

Five days a week, all year round, volunteers show up to the soup kitchen, eager to help out those in need, fulfilling the mission of “feeding people and affirming lives,” according to Executive Director Hannah Hill.

“Meeting people where they’re at, treating people with respect and love, and just being there every day, no matter what, for anyone that needs us,” Hill added.

Bread Line, Inc. also teaches culinary classes and looks after a community garden in the summer.

Every year, the soup kitchen tries to do something special for the Thanksgiving holiday. “Typically on Thanksgiving, we have what we call ‘Breakfast for breakfast,’” Hill explained, “which sounds basic, but we don’t normally have breakfast foods at breakfast at Stone Soup Cafe. We typically go for a protein heavy entree type meal, [which] can look a lot of times like a dinner meal more than breakfast.”

This breakfast meal provides a break from turkey, which will be a common offering in the month ahead. “Chef Matt is going to be making some kind of big scramble,” Hill continued. “We’re going to have breakfast sausages. It’s going to be delicious.”

This year also saw the donation of a 120 pound pumpkin by Anne’s Greenhouse. “That is going to be a whole lot of pumpkin curry in the future,” Hill predicted.

According to Hill, the kitchen typically sees its number of clients fall during the winter, as some move out of Fairbanks for the season. However, “Right now, we’re serving more food than we have before at this time of the year,” Hill said, adding, “We’re serving 100 hot meals and 100 cold sack lunches every day. Typically, at this time of the year, that would be sitting around 60.”

According to Hill, the soup kitchen is always accepting donations and volunteers - and with the days getting colder, socks and hand warmers are becoming more important for staving off the winter cold.