Marny Friedman, left, and Christine Emmes are part of the Just Soup crew each Tuesday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where free hot lunches are handed out in the church parking lot. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Marny Friedman, left, and Christine Emmes are part of the Just Soup crew each Tuesday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where free hot lunches are handed out in the church parking lot. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

More than just soup: Volunteers work rain or shine

St. Paul’s provides frees meals each Tuesday

PORT TOWNSEND — Outside the parish hall on a winter Tuesday, volunteer Becky Brown-Nienow is nonchalant about the amount of food being given away.

“We usually do 85,” she said of the handmade lunches that are called “Just Soup,” but in fact include fruit, multi-grain bread and an energy bar for later.

Twenty of those meals are delivered to the Caswell-Brown Village, the encampment off of Mill Road, Brown-Nienow said.

Last Tuesday’s main dish was a potato soup with ham and carrots — with a no-ham vegetarian option — served to guests from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church parking lot.

The address is 1020 Jefferson St., while Just Soup customers are asked to drive, bicycle or walk to the parish’s rear parking lot on Franklin Street. A sign points the way from Tyler Street.

St. Paul’s has hosted Just Soup for a dozen years, with its congregation providing the funds. Donations — from people who stop by the parking lot — and Jefferson Community Foundation grants have also helped.

For about 22 months now, these lunches have been portable, handed out from a table in the parking lot. When the pandemic began, Elizabeth Bindschadler, a parishioner at St. Paul’s, shepherded the transition from what had long been a meal inside the parish hall.

“It looks like we’ll be hanging tight with this,” Brown-Nienow said of the pickup system.

A couple of weeks ago, the Just Soup workers gave out 101 lunches, she added.

There have been no breaks for bad weather; during the snowy week after Christmas, “it was very slow. But we were here,” Brown-Nienow said.

Each Tuesday, four chefs work in the St. Paul’s kitchen starting early in the morning. Then a team of workers ladles, packs and delivers the complete meals to the table outside, where Meso Tadeo served as a kind of maitre d’hotel last week.

Inside, Marny Friedman and Christine Emmes, moving with grace, filled large cups with steaming soup.

All of this is possible, Brown-Nienow said, because all of the workers are volunteers.

“We probably have about 20 … We have wonderful people willing to sit out in the rain and cold,” she said.

“Some people have requested we set up tables outside,” so guests can lunch together. St. Paul’s may do that come spring or summer in its courtyard, she said, “because that’s what people miss: the community.”

To find out about volunteering with the Just Soup crew, visit www.stpaulspt.org and use the Connect menu. The church office can also be reached by phoning 360-385-0770 or emailing [email protected].

________

Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]

Volunteer Meso Tadeo accepted a donation of a bag of oranges from a passerby outside St. Paul’s Episcopal Church last week. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Volunteer Meso Tadeo accepted a donation of a bag of oranges from a passerby outside St. Paul’s Episcopal Church last week. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

More in Entertainment

Lisa Jensen
Port Townsend Rhododendron Festival Royality are, from left, Princess Brigitte Palmer, Queen Jenessah Seebergoss and Princess Hailey Hirschel. Seebergoss will not be able to attend this year.
Stop and smell the rhodies again

Rhododendron Festival begins Wednesday

Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group 

Denny Henson of NW Rustic Cuts works on carved bears at the Logging Show at the Sequim Irrigation Festival on Friday. The show continues today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. as well as a variety of other events during the festival’s grand finale weekend. The highlight will be the Grand Parade through downtown Sequim from noon to 1:30 p.m. today. For more information, see irrigationfestival.com and facebook.com/SequimIrrigationFestival.
Art with bear hands at Irrigation Festival

Denny Henson of NW Rustic Cuts works on carved bears at the… Continue reading

Prelude canceled; Juan de Fuca Fest to go on

The Prelude to a Festival has been canceled, but… Continue reading

Sam Chase and his band, the Untraditional, will be among the performers at a new event, a prelude to the upcoming Juan de Fuca Festival.
‘Prelude to a Festival’ Sunday at Elks ballroom

Concert will include blend of music and space for dancing

Chicago Bob Longmire, pictured playing solo at the Rothschild House last summer, will bring the Midnight Train Blues Band to Port Townsend’s Discovery Bay Brewing Co. for the monthly blues jam starting Sunday. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
First blues jam of season set for Sunday

Midnight Train Blues Band to lead session

Cabled Fiber & Yarn owner Beth Witters will demonstrate weaving on Saturday.
Second Saturday Art Walk offers demonstrations, artwork

The Second Saturday Art Walk offers free demonstrations and… Continue reading

Boat school’s Hull Raiser this weekend

The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding will host a… Continue reading

Guest conductor Jolene Dalton Gailey of Port Angeles leads the RainShadow Chorale in rehearsal for two concerts in Chimacum this week. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Music, poetry: ‘The Illumination of My Soul’

Guest conductor to lead RainShadow Chorale performance

Most Read