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[Audio] Soup for the Soul in Murray Feeds 75-100 People Every Weeknight

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Soup for the Soul is one of the newest non-profit organizations in Murray. Founded about six months ago upon recognizing a need for serving individuals hot meals in the evenings, community member Debbie Smith has seen her efforts grow into a cause that fed 20 people now feed 75 to 100 people in need five nights a week. On Sounds Good, Tracy Ross speaks with board chair Gina Winchester about some of the group's accomplishments and what's ahead for 2016.

Please note: Today is #GivingTuesday. Our partners in a one-day holiday drive for WKMS, Independence Bank, is donating one meal for every pledge we get today at 800-599-4737 or online at the the 'Donate' button.)

Gina Winchester says she got involved about five months ago and says she's been amazed by the support thus far. The goal is to serve individuals and families in need a hot meal in the evenings, sharing food and fellowship in a comfortable place. Food is prepared by volunteers, church groups, or community organization teams. They are currently two months out in scheduling groups to help.

Beyond serving food, she says individuals who aren't in need have come by to enjoy a meal, making a small donation at the door. She says local business leaders and families have also come in to have a meal.

Nutrition is an important aspect, she says, hoping to educate people about what they're eating. For some, this may be the only meal they've had all day, for others it may be the only nutritious thing they've eat all day. She says she's heard success stories about people saying they've become healthier after coming in for a while.

Ahead of Thanksgiving, 23 turkeys were donated. A meat processing company recently donated 500 pounds of deer meat. A local Boy Scout group brought 20 bags of groceries. There's also a list on their Facebook page for needs like hair nets, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc.

Soup for the Soul is located at 411 Maple Street, in downtown Murray. Donations can be made there and t-shirts are for sale. Or one can call 270-759-0800. Meals are served Mondays through Fridays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. To schedule a volunteer team, call 270-293-8462.

Tracy started working for WKMS in 1994 while attending Murray State University. After receiving his Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU he was hired as Operations/Web/Sports Director in 2000. Tracy hosted All Things Considered from 2004-2012 and has served as host/producer of several music shows including Cafe Jazz, and Jazz Horizons. In 2001, Tracy revived Beyond The Edge, a legacy alternative music program that had been on hiatus for several years. Tracy was named Program Director in 2011 and created the midday music and conversation program Sounds Good in 2012 which he hosts Monday-Thursday. Tracy lives in Murray with his wife, son and daughter.
Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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