Belfast Soup Kitchen Serving Up Dignity With Increasing Demand 

Five days a week, in addition to the food, you’ll find a sense of community is what’s on the menu at the Belfast Soup Kitchen.”Everyone seems really very friendly and the food is good,” said Mary Parker of Northport.The staff has redesigned the dining area so it looks more like a restaurant. It encourages the patrons to talk to each other and it’s one way they’re working to serve up a helping of respect and dignity with the meal.”Where do the poor people go? Well they come here. We have a coffee hour and we have coffee and we have pastries and we have the small tables and they can chat and talk politics or whatever just like everyone else,” said Alex Allmayer-Beck, CEO at the Belfast Soup Kitchen.The Belfast Soup Kitchen is feeding around 60 people a day, which is almost double the amount they were serving last year. So far in 2012, they’ve served 15,600 meals.Allmayer-Beck said, “I thought at first it was because we have such a wonderful atmosphere, which we have. We have such wonderful food, we have three retired chefs on our staff.”But they know the real reason why more people are stopping by for a meal these days.”A lot of people are in need with the economics the way they are now, so every little bit helps,” said Rick Hart, a volunteer at the soup kitchen.That’s why the volunteers are doing their part to make the soup kitchen more than a place these folks may need to go, and instead somewhere they may want to go.