The Golden Magnolia Sanctuary—Fairfield’s newest Community Center, run by Tammy Haessler—has been providing delicious, plant-based dinners on a “pay what you may” scale through their Stone Soup project for a little over a year now.
Committed to providing tasty, nutritious dinners at low to no cost, the Stone Soup Kitchen is a welcoming community space open Thursday through Saturday, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The soup kitchen, presided over by kitchen director Cheyanne Holliday, is staffed by volunteers, and the kitchen depends on ingredient donations from the community.
“We serve plant-based meals to the community three nights a week, averaging about 80 meals a night, but sometimes serving as many as 120 or as few as 40. It’s a big range,” Holliday says. “Meals are baseline free and you’re welcome to take as many as you need, no questions asked.”
At a time when food insecurity is a growing problem, providing nourishing meals that everyone can afford is incredibly important. The soup kitchen has proved to be extremely popular, and it needs more volunteers to keep it going. “Donations and volunteers are currently our greatest need,” Haessler says.
“We rely almost completely on kind donations and on our volunteers to operate,” says Holliday. “We have folks from all over the community donating fresh produce, dried goods, money, and the most precious resource: their time. This operation has truly shown us the power of community, and we are calling on that power now! If you have the time, energy, and ability to volunteer with us, please consider doing so. A whole lot of people choosing to spend one volunteer shift with us a month makes all the difference.”
Volunteering at the kitchen is a lot of fun—there is great camaraderie in prepping veggies, creating meals, and washing dishes in such a community-oriented space. Someone usually has a fun playlist set up, and a local jazz band frequently provides musical accompaniment Saturday nights.
To volunteer, sign up online at GoldenMagnoliaSanctuary.org or on their Facebook or Instagram pages. Give the gift of your time this season and next!