The Ray of Hope Soup Kitchen has been established since 1984, and is one of the first charities of its kind in Greater Moncton. Since then we have served more than 750,000 meals to the needy. Today, we serve over 100 meals every day. We also provide food packages for families
Our mission is to provide a hot meal to anyone who comes to the kitchen, no questions asked. We also strive to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment, friendly faces and sympathetic ears.
With the support and leadership of Father Peter McKee, the Knights of Columbus founded the Ray of Hope Needy Kitchen in 1984 after recognizing a need to help the homeless and financially challenged in Moncton by providing them with a hot nutritious and most importantly FREE meal. Operating out of the basement of St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic church, the Kitchen serves anyone who comes through the door regardless of who they are.
Since we began our operation back in 1984, we estimate the Kitchen has served over 750,000 meals. Our clients have included all ages from children to seniors, male, female and many races and ethnic backgrounds. Some are students trying to pay their way through school, some are unemployed or barely employed. Many have mental or physical challenges that prevent them from being employed and some live on the streets. Regardless of who they are we serve them all and make them feel at home.
The Kitchen could not operate without a dedicated group of volunteers. We have some core volunteers who are in every day and have been doing so for many years. Other will drop in to help on their day off. Some of our volunteers have been with us for over 25 years. They are all ages and from all backgrounds. For example, we have had inmates doing supervised community service helping out. Boy scout and girl guide troops, high school classes, and groups from numerous corporations have all volunteered over the years.
We also employ 2 full time staff to ensure continuous daily operation. Out Kitchen Manager and Head Cook keep the operation running smoothly.
Representatives of the local Jewish community have been serving Christmas dinner for over 25 years and recently the Muslim community has prepared and served a meal during the Christmas season as well.
Our primary role is of course to provide hot nutritious lunchtime meals to our clients, Monday to Friday, no questions asked. They will typically start arriving around 9:30 am for coffee. This is particularly true in the wintertime, when the Kitchen also provides a warm shelter from the elements. We start serving soup around 10:30 am following by a hot meal from 11:00-12:00.
Some clients have friends and family members who cannot make it in to the Kitchen on their own, so we also provide meals to go. A few will also use this option for their supper meal as well.
Occasionally we will receive food donations that we cannot use up in time. These items are handed out to clients to take home.
Guidance is provided to the Kitchen by a volunteer board of directors.