“Soup for the Docks” supports a crucial part of our community
It can be cold and windy in Galilee. Yet on almost every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, a small band of volunteers faithfully sets up stations, in two places, to serve a simple, hot noonday meal of soup and crackers to the members of the local fishing fleet, its dock workers and others working in the adjacent fish processing plants.
In fact, those volunteers served 1,861 cups of soup in 2019, during 471 volunteer hours — an average of 22 cups of soup served per day.
The volunteers for this project — lovingly dubbed “Soup for the Docks” — come from four organizations: the Galilee Mission in Narragansett, the Chapel of St. John the Divine in Saunderstown, Church of the Ascension in Wakefield and the GFWC Women’s Club of South County.
“The port of Galilee houses largest the fishing fleet in Rhode Island, and the men and women working there are an important part of our community,” said the Rev. Rob Travis, head pastor at Ascension and St. John the Divine. “Our churches have historically been, and remain to this day, deeply connected through family ties to the fishing industry. So our support with this meal is an extension of that familial love, and an expression of the neighbor love that Jesus calls us to offer.”
The Galilee Mission originated the project 16 years ago, as a way of giving back to the South County community, which has been supporting the nonprofit’s activities since its founding in 1984. The mission offers residential, outpatient and court-ordered treatment, and recovery housing for individuals dependent on alcohol and/or illegal substances.
The ingredients for the soup and serving supplies are funded by the Galilee Mission, and the soup is made by the chef at the mission twice each week.
St. John the Divine was the original source of the volunteers serving the soup and has been involved ever since. Now volunteers from the two local churches and the GFWC Women’s Club come together in shifts of two or three, covering most weeks each month, weather permitting, through the entire year.
— Kim A. Hanson