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Late-night restaurant supports free meal service

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012 1:12 p.m. CDT

DeKALB – Two years after beginning its twice-monthly free meal service, Feed’em Soup is looking to the future.

In January, the organization will begin offering free meals every week, according to a news release. The group serves more than 400 plates of food to more than 350 individuals at its dinners on the second, fourth and fifth Wednesday of each month.

Over the next several years, Feed’em Soup organizers hope to expand the dinner service to a full “pay-what-you-can” kitchen offering meals four to five days a week.

“We provide good, healthful cooking and whole balanced meals in an open community environment. Ideally, I’d like there to always be a good meal available to anyone that needs one,” executive chef Alex Smith said.

The only thing holding the group back is funding, said executive director Derek Gibbs.

“We’ve got the kitchen, we’ve got the equipment, the volunteers and the people that need our services. We just need a sustainable source of income,” he said.

Increased services may not be the only added expense Feed’em Soup faces in 2013. The group currently shares rent and utility payments with The Church In DeKalb, which operates from the same building at 122 S. First St. in DeKalb. But there is a possibility that partnership could end in 2013, Gibbs said.

“The Church has had an amazing opportunity presented to them to acquire a different facility in DeKalb. If it works out for them, we’ll be responsible for 100 percent of the rent and utilities in our building,” he said. Gibbs estimates the organization will have to increase its budget by 20 percent just to afford the space.

In an effort to create a sustainable source of income, this month Feed’em Soup launched a new program called “Feed’em – After Dark.” From 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the kitchen will serve an assortment of sliders, sides and breakfast foods. This weekly late-night benefit will operate like a restaurant, in which diners pay a set price for their food.

The after dark menu will feature items like portobello-mushroom sliders, silver dollar pancakes and waffles. The tapas menu features “mini” items so diners can snack or enjoy a whole meal. The Feed’em Soup of the Day will also be available on a pay-what-you-can basis.

Feed’em – After Dark

9 p.m. to 3 a.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday Feed’em Soup, 122 S. First St., DeKalb

Diners should enter using the south door, facing the railroad tracks.

For information, call 815-310-0903 or visit www.feedemsoup.org.

Feed'em creates holiday sweets for fundraiser

DeKALB – Feed’em Soup organizers and volunteers are headed to the kitchen this winter to create sweet holiday treats to sell. All proceeds will benefit the group’s weekly meal program as well as the “Feed’em Soup of The Day” program at local restaurants to ensure everyone has a warm meal this holiday season.

Under the guidance of Chef Alex Smith, Feed’em Soup volunteers will bake cherry, apple and French apple pies, kolache nut rolls and a holiday cookie assortment. Treats can be ordered at www.FeedEmSoup.org or in person at 122 S. First St. in DeKalb on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Orders can also be placed via phone at 815-310-0903.

Pies are 9 inches and priced at $12. Kolache are $15 and assorted holiday cookies are $6 a dozen.

After placing their order, customers will be contacted via email to schedule a pick-up time between Dec. 19 and 24.

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