Governor-General serves guests at Compassion soup kitchen

Compassion Soup Kitchen

Guests at the Home of Compassion Soup Kitchen in Wellington were served dinner recently by Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro.

After a health and safety briefing Dame Cindy was one of the team serving guests a hot meal.

Her visit coincided with the 187th birthday celebration of Compassion founder Suzanne Aubert.

Mother Aubert established the Soup Kitchen 121 years ago. Located near central Wellington, it has been a key component of food security in Wellington ever since.

“The Compassion Soup Kitchen continues Mother Aubert’s remarkable legacy by supporting people in need in our community, including those struggling with mental health issues, addiction, homelessness, and poverty” says the Governor General’s blog.

Aubert’s mission was to ensure there was no need for a soup kitchen in Wellington, says the Compassion Group’s co-Chief Executive Dr Chris Gallavin.

“The need for a free warm meal is increasing for many in our city,” he said, adding that over the coming months the Compassion Soup Kitchen will be doing all that it can to step up to meet the need.

The Compassion Soup Kitchen serves nearly 200 meals each day and has delivered over 50,000 meals in the last twelve months.

“Whoever walks through that door in need gets a meal,” says Soup Kitchen manager, Sam Johnson.

Dame Cindy’s visit formed part of a series of activities to mark the anniversary of Suzanne Aubert’s birth.

Celebrations also included Mass held at the Chapel of Our Lady’s Home of Compassion in Island Bay on Sunday, 19 June.

During his homily, Cardinal John Dew highlighted Aubert’s love for all, saying: “Let us have a heart like an artichoke and so big that everyone can have a leaf of it”.

Aubert was born on 19 June 1835 in Saint-Symphorien-de-Lay, near Lyon in France. She emigrated to Aotearoa New Zealand in 1860.

She was a prominent teacher, nurse, health care innovator, social welfare pioneer and advocate for disadvantaged children, the poor and the sick ‘of all faiths and none’.


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