"Besides the homeless, many of the individuals who line up for meals are seniors or the working poor. Some of them have two jobs and still can't make ends meet so they come here to get a hot meal and enjoy a little conversation. They're not all men either. Women come, and sometimes even whole families. Everyone is welcome." Maggie
Who We Serve
There is a misconception that only the homeless and the mentally ill come to soup kitchens for meals. While that may have been true a few years ago, those lining up today are just as likely to be unemployed day laborers, retired persons, young men and women unable to find jobs, or recent immigrants who have jobs but who still can’t make ends meet.
Soup Kitchen meals are available to anyone in need. No one is ever turned away.
Why There Is A Need
Although Westchester County is one of the nation’s wealthiest counties, it contains large and persistent pockets of poverty.
- The Food Bank for Westchester estimates that approximately 200,000 Westchester residents need food assistance every year.
- Westchester’s per capita homeless rate is twice that of New York City.
- Cost of living adjustments put Westchester’s poverty line at $30,000 for a family of four, but individuals earning $8.00 per hour for a 40-hour week, above New York’s $7.25 per hour minimum wage, still only make $16,640 annually and find it difficult to make ends meet.
- The county unemployment rate is 7%
Demand at local soup kitchens and food pantries has increased 30-40% since 2008.
The GCCC Soup Kitchen is the largest soup kitchen in White Plains and is the only soup kitchen where the hungry can regularly get a free meal every Monday to Friday and on all holidays throughout the year.
The Soup Kitchen was first opened in the early 1970’s when parishioners of Grace Church began to provide soup and sandwiches to their hungry neighbors from their Parish Hall in the heart of the city.
The mission of the Soup Kitchen then, as it is now, was to provide a free, nutritionally balanced, mid-morning meal to anyone in need.
Meals are served from 10:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. every Monday to Friday.
The Soup Kitchen feeds between 50 and 140 individuals daily. This year 20,000 meals will be provded- - 4,000 will be holiday meals served at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Presidents’ Day, Martin Luther King Day, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day.
For those who need them, sandwiches or canned goods are available for take-home each day and on Fridays, individuals are welcome to take enough food to last the weekend.
Warehouse facilities are available for storing food which greatly enhances the Soup Kitchen’s ability to provide meals year round.
Soup Kitchen services extend beyond providing food to the hungry. Our bilingual staff disseminates information about job openings and public assistance programs and provides referrals to GCCC and other social services to help clients get back on their feet.
The Soup Kitchen also provides donated clothing and toiletries to individuals on a regular basis. Every winter, warm clothing such as coats, hats and gloves are set out on a table in the parish hall and clients are invited to help themselves to anything they need.
Another less tangible benefit of the Soup Kitchen is the provision of companionship and compassion for the needy in a safe, secure environment. Individuals who come to the Soup Kitchen often stay after they have finished their meal to chat with friends and to enjoy the sense of camaraderie that is missing from so many of their lives.
Funding for the Soup Kitchen is provided by donations from a wide variety of sources including: community organizations, religious organizations, corporations, foundations, schools and individuals.
Grace Church Parish House- First Floor
33 Church Street, White Plains, NY
Monday to Friday, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
How You Can Help