More Than a Meal - Kahu Iupati


…the need is a sense of belonging, the need is knowing that when they turn up, there will be someone there to talk to.

The doors swing open, and there await beautiful faces with hungry tummies waiting for their much-needed hot meal. I know that the struggle is real. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. But what I’ve found, is that LIFE Soup Kitchen is different; the need is more than the meal we provide (although that is significant), the need is a sense of belonging, the need is knowing that when they turn up, there will be someone there to talk to.  

There are countless stories of heartbreak and loss, hardship and poverty, loneliness and pain – but within that, there is hope. Hope that things can change, hope that tomorrow can be different, hope that this hardship would be a stepping stone into what will be an amazing future.   

I’ve shared a meal with Liz. Liz walks 20 minutes from her home to get to LIFE Soup Kitchen. She has no choice; if she doesn’t go, she doesn’t eat. Liz is in her mid-60’s living on the pension and struggling to get by.  

Then there is Sam. She brings her two grandchildren every week. Her son is addicted to drugs and in a deep spiral of depression. She struggles to see a way out but perseveres in order for her grandkids to have a ‘normal’ life.  

And Solomon. Both he and his wife work full time but still find it hard to feed their family. They rely on the meal and service that LIFE Soup Kitchen provides and when you speak with them, they are overwhelmed with gratitude.  

When we make time to sit and share a meal with someone, we create an opportunity to sow seeds of encouragement and love, seeds that have the potential to change a future. We get to hear their stories and when asked, we get to share ours. This transaction is priceless.  

LIFE Soup Kitchen is not just a meal service… it’s a place where people can belong, a place where the community can connect. A place where the course of someone’s future can change. We sow seeds and that has the potential to create a legacy…  


Kahu Iupati
LIFE Soup Kitchen Manager
LIFE Community

*Names have been changed to keep anonymity 

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