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Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling Resumes Saturday Hours | News, Sports, Jobs

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photo by: Joselyn King

Volunteer Marianne McCausland, left, a 15-year volunteer at the Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling; and employee Cheryl Baylor prepare to serve lunch.

WHEELING – The Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling is now open on Saturdays and in need of volunteers for both weekdays and Saturdays.

The soup kitchen began closing on Saturdays during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Nearly three years later, the doors to the dining room are now open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, with breakfast not available on Saturdays.

The soup kitchen opens at 8 a.m. on weekdays to serve breakfast, with lunch available from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

The facility is closed on Sundays.

In addition, the soup kitchen provides dinner for children and their families from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Through it all, the soup kitchen is “100% community-funded, and 100% volunteer-driven,” according to executive director Becky Shilling-Rodocker.

“Without them, we would not be able to operate and get the job done,” she explained.

The soup kitchen serves an average of 250 meals a day between lunch and breakfast, and the help of volunteers is appreciated. Somedays entire groups of volunteers work at the shelter, while many days there are zero, explained Caitlin Rodocker of the soup kitchen.

While many want to volunteer at the Soup Kitchen during the holiday season, their desire to do so decreases when January hits. At the same time, the cold and dark of winter sets in and more people begin coming to the soup kitchen.

“It seems that when the rise increases, the number of volunteers decreases,” according to Caitlin Rodocker.

The soup kitchen has a full-time staff of seven, as well as two part-time workers. Shilling-Rodocker said there are many reasons to want to volunteer at the soup kitchen.

She noted the soup kitchen’s building at 1610 Eoff St. is “one of the most stately buildings in Wheeling.” It was constructed in 1931, and initially served as the East Wheeling fire station.

“It’s now a community hub, and a safe place for people to get out of the cold and heat,” Shilling-Rodocker said. “It’s a place where they can come, feed their bodies with food, and have good conversation.”

She thinks the building can be used even more as a community center.

“Any group that wants to meet here in the evenings, just ask us,” Shilling-Rodocker said.

She describes the facility as “clean and inviting,” and a place anyone can bring children to introduce them to volunteerism.

“It’s also a great place for people who are retired who want to volunteer their time, and for groups who want to serve the public,” Shilling-Rodocker said. “We can accommodate anyone who wants to volunteer.”

Those interested in volunteering or using the soup kitchen facilities for a community event should contact 304-233-2992.

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