‘Soup kitchen’s clients almost double since May opening’

Posted on Sep 27 2011
By Clarissa V. David

The number of clients being served by the soup kitchen founded by the CNMI Salvation Army called Guma Yo’ Ase’ has doubled since it opened in May, according to ministry leader Wayne Gillespie.

“We’ve seen a big increase of people coming into the soup kitchen, a rough double. We only expect it to get worse. I know that it has because of the economy,” Gillespie said.

The international faith-based organization officially opened the Guma Yo’ Ase’ (House of Mercy), a two-story facility across Hopwood Junior High School, on May 7.

A rummage sale area is on the ground floor of the facility where used clothing, appliances, furniture, and other items are sold to support the soup kitchen and other programs of the CNMI Salvation Army.

The second floor, on the other hand, houses the soup kitchen itself, which can accommodate up to 50. It also serves as a homeless drop-in center where people can take a shower and do laundry besides having a decent meal.

Gillespie noted that the soup kitchen has had “great donors” from various establishments and companies such as Dickerson & Quinn, Foremost, and Hyatt Regency Saipan, which donate food and other items.

With the soup kitchen serving more and more people, Gillespie underscored the need for more donors and encouraged other businesses, organizations, and individuals to support it.

“This is the time for all of us to pull together our resources and help those caught up in economic troubles,” Gillespie told Saipan Tribune.

Gillespie said that assistance for Guma Yo’ Ase’ can come in the form of non-perishable food items that will be served at the soup kitchen or donations of “clean and serviceable items” for the rummage sale area.

He said these clean and serviceable items can be sold cheaply at the rummage sale area to defray their expenses at the soup kitchen and, at the same time, provide the community with great deals on the used items. “Everybody wins,” he added.

Gillespie urged the public to donate items that they no longer use to the rummage sale area. “Get rid of stuff cluttered in your houses and donate them to us. See the satisfaction that you are able to feed the hungry and help the poor in general.”

Non-perishable food and rummage sale items can be dropped off at the soup kitchen between 9:30am and 12:30pm. The soup kitchen, meanwhile, feeds the hungry from 11am to 1pm.

For more information, call 483-0885 or email wayne.gillespie@usw.salvationarmy.org.

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