In Photos, Stories
Poverty, hunger and homelessness are a continuing issue in Memphis, one of the poorest big cities in America. St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen has been an ongoing source of comfort and need for many of those affected. They average more than 300 servings a day. In 2014 their total served was 88,000.
“Often the homeless feel invisible. People walk by them as if they are not even there, often avoiding eye contact. As for the image of the mans face, sometimes even just an acknowledgement of their presence, a smile, a kind word can make a connection with them. Sometimes eyes can connect soul to soul and no words even needs to be spoken. ” says Karen Pulfer Focht, photo journalist.

St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen is the longest continuously running soup kitchen in the United States. It has been operating since 1870, six days a week. Each day beverages, pastries, meat sandwiches, soup, fruit, candy and chips are served. “For four hours we feed bodies and nourish spirits with a hearty “Good Morning,” praise songs and a wish to “Have a blessed day!”

St. Mary’s is able to function because of the more than 50 volunteers from the area that give their time. They are always looking for volunteers Monday thru Friday from 7:15 AM to 10:00 AM. Donations can also be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Church Soup Kitchen.

To learn more about St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen, contact Martin at 901-649-3555.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there were 578,424 people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. in January 2014.

Photography taken by Karen Pulfer Focht. Karen isn’t just a photo journalist, but someone who expresses her heart through her photography.

To find a local soup kitchen in your area Feeding America.



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