Who We Are

Mission Statement

A diverse broad-based ecumenical origination of dedicated board members, staff, and community volunteers who work to help alleviate hunger by unconditionally providing free meals and a sense of community daily in a supportive atmosphere.

The soup kitchen is a registered 501(c) (3) organization.


The Isabella Community Soup Kitchen began in 1990 thanks to Gary Taylor as a class project while he was a student at Central Michigan University. Gary witnessed a fellow student from China eating a ketchup sandwich, the only food available to him at that time. The student explained to Gary that the country sponsoring his stay in the United States only furnished funds for books, material, room and board but not much else for food.

Gary found no existing Soup Kitchen in the area and got started on the project. The Wesley Foundation located on the Central Michigan University campus accepted to provide its tiny kitchen and cafeteria to feed people in need in Isabella County. Word got out, people grew in number and three years later, Gary had to find a larger facility. Trinity United Methodist Church located downtown Mt. Pleasant offered its basement with a larger kitchen to shelter the Soup Kitchen where it operated for almost ten years. Once again the Soup Kitchen needed more space and the church also needed room for its programs.

A suitable site was found to construct a new building next to Millpond Park located on the West Side of town. With the help of Board Members and especially Fundraising committee Clarence Tuma, former owner of the well known Mt. Pleasant “Embers” Restaurant, the project got under way. Thanks to the great responses and pledges from businesses, churches, clubs and community, the beautiful new Soup Kitchen opened its doors in December 2002. In the fall of 2003, a very generous donation was received from the estate of a former Soup Kitchen Lead cook, one of our original volunteers and Board Member. This donation helped pay off our building mortgage.

We are at this time seeking pledges to cover our daily operational and maintenance expenses from committed Churches, organizations and private citizens.

Donation canisters are placed throughout the city businesses and collected monthly.

The Soup Kitchen offers a pleasant and safe haven for people in need. Hot lunches are served daily and the number of children increase during the summer months. At 8:00 AM guests are welcome to enjoy a continental breakfast.

Lunches are served from 11:30AM until 1:00PM and routinely consist of a main dish, vegetables, salads and desserts.

The Soup Kitchen doors are open Monday through Saturday.

Soup Kitchen Guests

Coming from all walks of life: they are homeless, retired people, or those who are widowed who are unable to cook, CMU students living on a low budget. People with low paying jobs and no money left for food after bills are paid at the end of the month, single parents with children to feed; some are unable to hold a job due to physical or mental illness, young couples with small children who relocated in the area and need a hand to get started. Our regular guests have become somewhat of a family and look out for one another other.