As a life-affirming memorial to Rita McDougle, a long-time member of the parish who recently died, her son, Quinn McDougle, began Rita’s Soups as an offering to feed those in need one Saturday a month in the East Toledo-Oregon area. Rita loved to feed people in her home and was well known for her casseroles and soups. She was proud of the fact that no one ever left her home hungry!
In 2019, Quinn began talking with the Rev. Julie Beitelschees, rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, about whether he could offer a feeding program to complement their food pantry program. With the assistance of Knute Huber, another resource for developing feeding programs, plans were in the works when the pandemic struck and things had to be put on hold.
The program opened on Saturday, March 20, 2021 and served more than 40 people and delivered more than 75 servings of soup to senior living centers. It now includes take-out orders, eat-in capabilities, and a delivery service to house bound resident within the church’s congregation and the local community. It is providing more than 400 meals each month at this point. Through volunteer and financial commitments, Rita’s Soups has begun to establish itself as a vehicle of hospitality, outreach, and fellowship!