Supporting the Long Beach Soup Kitchen's mission


The Long Beach Soup Kitchen has been serving the community for the past 40 years. The work they do cannot be accomplished without the support of the surrounding community and their hard-working volunteers.

To show appreciation for the volunteers that always put the needs of the community first, the soup kitchen held its spring event, a fundraiser in honor of the workers. The fundraiser filled out Roc & Olive, 180 W. Park Ave., on May 29.

The fundraiser had food and drinks, raffles and a 50/50. The turnout and support from the community was evident to Betsy Glazer, the soup kitchen’s head of fundraising, even though it’s been four years since their last such event.

“I was thrilled with the event,” Glazer said. “So many of our volunteers came, which I was happy about. Lots of people that I don’t know and weren’t related to volunteers, and more usual supporters, came as well. A lot of new people came and that’s always wonderful because the more people that know about the soup kitchen, then the more support we have.”

Three volunteers were honored during the event. Ira and Ellyn Katz, who have been volunteering with the Long Beach Soup Kitchen for over 20 years, and Shirley Lieberman, who has also been volunteering for over 20 years and is over 90 years old, all received special plaques and flowers for their continuous work.

Along with the three honorees, the kitchen also named its “volunteer of the year.” This year’s was Larry Feldman.

“He’s the hardest working person we’ve ever met,” Glazer said of Feldman. “It was it was a nice night and I think the volunteers felt good about being recognized.”

Glazer said the fundraiser brought in about $6,000 in support for the soup kitchen. “It makes the volunteers feel good,” Glazer said. “It raises money and for the new people, they find out what we’re about. It’s amazing in Long Beach.”

The soup kitchen is open every day. Its pantry, which allows people to come to a window and shop for groceries, is available Mondays and Thursdays. Some people begin lining up before 8 a.m., even though it doesn’t open until 11:15.

Most of the kitchen’s food supply is donated by Trader Joe’s, which delivers soup, vegetables, fruits, meats, bread and canned goods each week. The soup kitchen also gets donations from neighbors and local groups. In addition to Trader Joe’s, Robert Blau, the soup kitchen’s president, has said the generosity of the community and additional contributions from Island Harvest and Long Island Cares can always be relied on.