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Spotlight On: Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry

June 17, 2024

From Left to Right, Lorraine's volunteer Pete, Lynn Morrissette of the Boys & Girls Club of Chicoopee; Lorraine's Operations Manager Jerry; Lorraine's Board President, Donna Marratta; Brion Robert of Westfield Bank; Melissa Breor, Executive Director of the Chicopee Chamber; Heather Leclerc of the Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Western Mass; and Michael Epaul of Michael Epaul Photography.

Spotlight On: Lorraine's Soup Kitchen & Pantry

Written By: Teresa Hayward

Marketing Assistant, Chicopee Chamber of Commerce

Our June Member Spotlight features Lorraine's Soup Kitchen & Pantry! For 35 years, Lorraine’s has served the Greater Chicopee community through their pantry and soup kitchen, helping to lead the fight against food insecurity.

Lorraine's Soup Kitchen & Pantry, originally named The Chicopee Soup Kitchen & Pantry, opened in 1989-1990 on 35 Center Street in Willimansett. The first meal served was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Word spread, and more people began to attend the dinners - from 13 people the first night, to 25 people, and more. Soon after, the food pantry was established, through donations from local businesses, agencies, churches, and Chicopee residents. The Chicopee Soup Kitchen & Pantry was renamed Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry to honor Lorraine Houle (1927-2018), the first Executive Director. Kim Caisse is now leading Lorraine's Kitchen & Pantry as Executive Director.

In order to help more families in need, Lorraine's Soup Kitchen & Pantry relocated to a state-of-the-art facility from Center Street to 170 Pendexter Avenue. This property was donated by Callaway Golf Operations, a long-time supporter of the non-profit (and May's Member Spotlight)!

Amid the rising food insecurity, Lorraine's Soup Kitchen & Pantry is a beacon of light to those who are vulnerable, serving anywhere from 120- 150 people every evening. Their pantry service is available Monday - Friday, 10am - 2pm; Hot meals served on weeknights, Monday - Friday, 4pm - 6pm. Lorraine's is a warm and welcoming place to be.

Instead of delivering treats for this Member Spotlight, members of our Member Relations Committee surprised Lorraine's with a volunteer shift, cooking a recent Monday night meal. If you are interested in donating or volunteering, there are many ways to get involved. The mobile pantry also always has a need for volunteers, and the kitchen is often looking for help with cooking and prep shifts on Mondays and Wednesdays. Check out their website for more information on how to volunteer, volunteer opportunities and most-needed food donations.

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