Soup kitchen in Lockport gets dedicated to the woman who started it all

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Salvation Army’s soup kitchen in Lockport welcomes the entire community to come join them for a warm meal.

Throughout the past four decades, the Sister Mary Loretto soup kitchen has helped serve more than 1.2 million meals to the community. On Wednesday, they honored the woman who started it all.

“Sister Mary Loretto was a dear saint who sought a need so long ago to feed hungry people and she did,” said Commanding Officer of the Lockport Salvation Army, Tom Duperree.

The kitchen was officially dedicated to her on Wednesday and her mission she started 41 years ago. Though Loretto passed away in 1997, her legacy lives on as the need to help the community with food insecurity continues to grow.

“The need continues to escalate especially as the prices of our groceries continue to escalate,” said Duperree.

During the summer months, they see entire families, mothers, fathers, and children stop in due to a lack of food at home. They say they usually serve a hundred people a day, sometimes more than 600 a week.

“This is a place, even a place for people who don’t need a free meal, it’s a place for them to come and to befriend somebody else and to listen to somebody else’s problems and concerns,” said Duperree. “It’s a shoulder to lean on and it’s a place that people can be accepted. Everybody wants that in life.”

Above all, they’re here to help feed our neighbors in need.

“If you’re hungry, come let us feed you,” Duperree said. “If you need some more items in your pantry, come let us help you and you can help yourself throughout the pantry and get the items that you need. Don’t go hungry and don’t be alone.”

The kitchen serves meals from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on weekdays. A pantry stocked with donations from local stores and farmers is open three days a week.

Every third Thursday of the month, FeedMore WNY also provides a “Food Express” that has fresh produce.

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.

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