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Organic Soup Kitchen Feeds Healthy Food To Seniors, Ill Clients

Santa Barbara, CA’s Organic Soup Kitchen makes meals, known as “SoupMeals,” for low-income seniors and individuals with chronic illnesses. The nonprofit, founded in 2009, works with nutritionists, oncologists, and other health professionals who create specific recipes targeted to clients’ health needs. 

Organic Soup Kitchen partners with local farms for fresh fruits and vegetables, making more than 400 gallons of soup each week for 800 participants. Each SoupMeal is packaged in a BPA-free container that is hermetically sealed for safety from all pathogens, bacteria, and viruses.

Photo Courtesy Organic Soup Kitchen 

“The inspiration behind Organic Soup Kitchen is a deep passion for helping others and the belief that all people should have access to lifesaving nutrition and food security,” Jennifer Hyle, Organic Soup Kitchen’s development manager, told Noozhawk in an interview. “Every day we are inspired by the thousands of clients, most of whom are battling cancer or chronic illness, who tell us that our SoupMeals have saved their lives and helped them thrive during extremely difficult times.”

SoupMeals are available for home delivery throughout the area. Almost all of the organization’s clients are living with chronic illnesses, more than 70% of which have cancer.

According to the nonprofit’s website, more than 18,000 unique cases of cancer exist in Santa Barbara County, making it clear that these healthy, safe, and reliable soup meals are needed. 

The company’s Cancer and Chronic Illness Recovery Program, launched in 2013, provides a production and delivery system. In addition, the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and other medical agencies refer clients to the nonprofit.

Photo Courtesy Organic Soup Kitchen 

Organic Soup Kitchen also takes sustainability seriously. The nonprofit is a member of 1% for the Planet and has plans to make eco-friendly upgrades to some of its facilities and install solar panels on the roof of its Distribution and Education Center to cut utility costs with an end goal of more money spent creating more recipes for clients.   

“As power outages increase at an alarming rate, one immediate goal is to equip our operation with a backup energy system to ensure that we can continue operating in the case of an emergency power outage,” Hyle said to Noozhawk. “Longer term, we plan to install solar panels on the roof of our Distribution and Education Center. Solar, in conjunction with a backup energy system, will dramatically reduce our carbon footprint and ensure that our clients receive the lifesaving nutrition they rely on.”

Video Courtesy Organic Soup Kitchen  

The organization’s website has a form for potential clients to fill out, which helps Organic Soup Kitchen determine what specific foods would be best for an individual’s health needs. Members of the general public can also buy soup directly there. Additionally, the company is 85% volunteer-led and is always in need of additional help and donations.

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