Soup for the needy
Christian Assembly minister helps with soup kitchen every week

by Glenn Taylor
Northern News Services

INUVIK (May 02/97) - It's rewarding work, if you can get it.

Gerald Falk smiles wide as he spoons a bowl of caribou soup and reaches for a plate of steaming bannock, Tuesday morning. As minister of the Inuvik Christian Assembly and a resident of Inuvik for the last 30 years, Falk is a valued member of the community.

Every Tuesday morning, some of the town's homeless and other needy people are greeted by that smile and bowl of soup. For the last three months, Falk and his congregation have been serving free lunches to needy people every Tuesday.

Every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m, the church has been serving caribou soup, bannock and other tasty goods to people in need. The lunches usually attract more than 20 people, said Falk.

It hasn't been easy serving as many people as the church does. Falk and the congregation have to balance busy schedules to make the food and serve it to people. But the gratitude they get in return makes it worth the effort, said Falk.

"I didn't know what to expect, to be quite honest," said Falk, when the idea of a soup kitchen was first thrown around by church members. "But we thought, let's give it a try ... and it hasn't worked out too bad."

Falk said the greatest reward is when people come to him after and express their thanks for a good hot meal and the nutrition. "People have said to us thank you, thank you," said Falk. "It makes us feel OK. It's well worth the effort."

Now that the weather has warmed up, fewer people have been showing up for the soup kitchen. That's why this Tuesday was the last week for the kitchen, at least until next winter. Falk said the warm weather has meant less business for them.

But the church is looking at running another soup kitchen next winter. With the great response to this one, it looks possible a return performance might be in the offing.

"People are so grateful ... we have people that haven't eaten in a couple of days," said Falk. "Some people have a difficult go of it in life. It makes a person feel they should do more."