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Serving up hot soup and large helpings of hope at the PNA Hot Meal Program

By Krissie Dillin

A feel-good tale from our neighborhood…

The North Seattle 5’s, a co-op preschool housed in St. John’s Lutheran Church, recently asked the PNA if they could host a food drive for the Hot Meal Program. The school was very enthusiastic about the food drive and interested in helping the kids understand how the food connected back to the diners served on a weekly basis.

The Hot Meal Program decided to have the kids make a giant pot of “community soup” for the evening’s dinner at the kitchen, also at St. John’s Lutheran Church. The kids arrived eager to chop vegetables, add spices and create! After chopping veggies, each preschooler put their individual ingredients into one giant pot and all stirred together with a wooden ladle that has been part of the kitchen for over 20 years.

As students and volunteers chopped and stirred, they talked about the people that come to receive a free meal and how they might not have enough to eat or a home to make their own soup. Many of the children said they would share their food at their own homes.

The kids were then asked what to call the community soup, and responded with “yellow soup”, “Henry’s soup”, “veggie soup”, etc.  The most insightful answer – and eventual winner – came from a little girl who said “we should call it You’re Welcome Soup because that is what you would say when you serve it to someone.”

“Watching young children make a connection to the importance of serving others is incredibly humbling and rewarding”, reported Hot Meal Program Director Krissie Dillin. The PNA is grateful for North Seattle 5’s and their Hot Meal Program Food Drive which brought in two kitchen carts full of donated food and many happy diners. 

The Hot Meal Program serves free meals, three times a week to our neighbors and all are welcome to join us for a bowl of You’re Welcome Soup, anytime.