A couple of men play a friendly game of chess Wednesday at the Soupy Cafe in Bowser

Soupy Cafe opens in Bowser – pay what you can

Attendance is doubling by the week, says the president of the Lighthouse Community Centre

The Soupy Cafe — a hybrid between a soup kitchen and social hub — opened in Bowser last month.

And so far it’s been a huge success with attendance doubling by the week, according to Sheena McCorquodale, president of the Lighthouse Community Centre.

McCorquodale explains the idea is to have a community drop-in lunch and activity program run on a no-minimum donation basis.

“That means you can come and contribute 25 cents or 25 dollars,” she said. “It will be a success if you see somebody there playing a board game and you can’t tell if that person is there for free soup or to play a board game.”

McCorquodale says the weekly drop-in style program operates every Wednesday from noon until 2 p.m. at the Lighthouse Community Centre where volunteers dole out bowls of piping hot soup or chili, with a bun.

Alongside food, she says the program’s purpose is to encourage community socialization.

People are welcome to bring their own board games, but there are also games provided including a ping pong table, puzzles and chess.

While it’s only been running for five weeks, McCorquodale said it’s been “well received” by the community.

“One of my favourite vignettes so far has been watching these two elderly gentlemen teach two younger boys how to play chess,” she said. “It’s just nice to be able to get out, socialize and have a cup of coffee.”

McCorquodale said the Soupy Cafe also offers courses — such as a writer’s workshop and aerobic classes. She’s hoping more volunteers will step forward to host free classes and already has knitting, computer technology and bark weaving classes in mind.

Donations to the Soupy Cafe will go towards expenses associated with running the cafe, including the food related costs, the basic hall costs of heating, light and running the kitchen equipment. Any additional funds will go to the local food bank. For more information contact Sheena McCorquodale at 250-757-9991.

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