Stone Soup Corvallis Inc. faces increased demand for meals, seeks community volunteers

%0AOregon+State+University+PhD+student+Saichon+Sumantakul+%28left%29+and+second+year+biohealth+science+major+Melissa+Richards+preparing+silverware+for+Stone+Soup+diners+at+First+Christian+Church+in+downtown+Corvallis%2C+Ore.+on+May+24.%0A

Sam Misa, Photographer

Oregon State University PhD student Saichon Sumantakul (left) and second year biohealth science major Melissa Richards preparing silverware for Stone Soup diners at First Christian Church in downtown Corvallis, Ore. on May 24.

Sam Misa, News Contributor

Corvallis Ore. based group Stone Soup Corvallis Inc. has experienced increases in demand for meals as high as 40% this year compared to last year, and is seeking the help of volunteers. 

“This demand, along with inflation in food prices, is stressing the Stone Soup budget,” said president of Stone Soup, Sara Ingle. “Fortunately, Stone Soup has just relaxed a COVID-19 precaution and now accepts donations of packaged or canned goods in their original packaging—unless expired.”

According to Ingle, January through March saw 40% increases compared to a year prior. The opening of dining rooms within St. Mary’s Church as well as at First Christian Church has also slightly increased demand according to Ingle.

“More than three-fourths of the meals we serve are cooked by our volunteer crews in the kitchens of the two churches,” Ingle said. “The remaining meals are cooked by a caterer and served at our walk-up/drive-through site at Third Street Commons.”

Other things that have been contributing to demand for meals include the lifting of rent moratoriums as well as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food benefits being scaled back as the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be ending, according to Ingle.

“Reopening the dining rooms has really increased our volunteers needed for serving, dishwashing, set-up, and take-down shifts,” said Ingle. “Interested volunteers should contact [email protected] Some are relatively short shifts.”

According to academic advisor at Oregon State University as well as volunteer at Stone Soup, Katie Harvey, the workers are happy to help fill the role of providing to more people.

For more information on how to help Stone Soup Corvallis through volunteering or donating supplies, visit their website.