DINNER'S SERVED: Tireless volunteers of the Gatton Seventh-day Adventist Church feed hungry backpackers and residents each week.
DINNER'S SERVED: Tireless volunteers of the Gatton Seventh-day Adventist Church feed hungry backpackers and residents each week. Melanie Keyte

Gatton's Soup Kitchen still feeding the needy

GATTON'S weekly Soup Kitchen has attracted such an influx of clients, the once three-course meal offered has been reduced to two courses.

Soup Kitchen founder Lou Uljarevic said it was because the facilities they have are not big enough to cater for the 200 or so people who were turning up.

"From March to September we were getting about 200 people each Monday,” Mr Uljarevic said.

"They are a mixture of backpackers and locals, with the locals usually being younger married couples.

"But it's starting to drop a little and we are back to about 100 now.”

Held each Monday at 6.30pm at the Seventh-day Adventist Church on North Street, the Soup Kitchen now serves either a soup and a dessert or a main meal and a dessert and is available to anyone in need.

"We never turn anyone away, no matter what circumstance, everyone is welcome,” Mr Uljarevic said.

"It's a place for people that is safe and open.

"There is no alcohol, smoking, drugs, just sitting and talking. It gives people a place to come and meet and have a nice meal.”

Mr Uljarevic said the Soup Kitchen is sponsored predominately by he and his wife Grace while a young couple also help financially.

"They sponsor quite a large amount,” he said.

"And some people just turn up and donate $10 or $20.

"We get a box of bread every Monday and sometimes we get produce donated from farmers, not often though but we are very thankful.”

Mr Uljarevic thanked the volunteers who help him and Grace each week prepare meals, serve them and clean up the kitchen.

"We have been very fortunate with volunteers because every time somebody doesn't turn up, someone will walk through the door off the street and offer to help,” he said.

The Uljarevics, who are members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, started the Soup Kitchen more than two years ago after conducting research to help highlight needs in the community.


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