Community Gives Back with Warm, Comforting Soup

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It’s often been said that soup is good for the soul. At Covenant House Alaska, it is much more than that. Warm and comforting soup can often be a lifesaver to many of the homeless youth who find their way to our shelter.

“Having soup 24 hours a day means Covenant House cares about me,” says one CHA youth. As another young resident put it, “Having soup available means I don’t have to steal food when I’m hungry.”

Nearly 20 gallons of hot, soothing soup are offered everyday to homeless youth dropping into Covenant House Alaska for a warm meal and safe harbor. For many youth, it is their first meal of the day. For others, it serves as the beginning of their journey at Covenant House Alaska, a journey that will ultimately lead them away from the dangerous streets and into a life of stability and independence.

Preparing homemade soup is also a meaningful way to for the community to give back. Just ask long-time CHA volunteer, Kari Hall. Each month, she cooks about 15 gallons of delicious and healthful soup for Covenant House youth. “I love doing this,” Kari says. “It’s a good feeling knowing that you’re providing something warm and nourishing for kids coming off the cold streets.”

Kari has also volunteered her time teaching CHA teens how to prepare and cook yummy homemade soup. She even taught youth how to make her Italian White Bean soup recipe, which won the 2016 Bean’s Café Empty Bowl Project Award. The teens enthusiastically helped her chop Costco-sized boxes of vegetables for 31 gallons of soup, and learned a lot in the process.

“The most rewarding part was watching the kids help prepare the vegetables— they were having fun!” Kari says.

Kari also throws “Soup-Making” parties at her own home, inviting friends and colleagues over to help her chop and prepare the gallons of ingredients she needs for her homemade soup recipes. It’s a labor of love, and her guests share in the joy of knowing their efforts will go towards making at-risk youth feel nourished and loved with each bowl of hot soup they are offered. For 30 years, more than 25,000 Alaskan youth have walked through our shelter doors, and started the next chapter of their lives with a steaming bowl of loving homemade soup!

To make a gift to Covenant House Alaska, please visit our donation page.

For more information about donating soup to Covenant House Alaska or organizing a Soup Party, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 907-339-4261 or