Such a beautiful and funny story. A mother and daughter have a convicting and inspiring mealtime experience and learn why dinner is better at a soup kitchen.
Life Parenting

10 Reasons Dinner Is Better At A Soup Kitchen

Such a beautiful and funny story. A mother and daughter have a convicting and inspiring mealtime experience and learn why dinner is better at a soup kitchen.

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By Megan Premo of Modest Mess

One Thursday evening, my daughter and I ended up at a local soup kitchen after a spring cleaning project (and recent wedding) left me with more disposable cups, plates, and utensils than I could use in a lifetime. We packed them up and swung by the soup kitchen just before dinner time to see if they could use them. They gratefully accepted everything and invited us to stay for dinner.

I had planned to just drop the stuff off and go home, but they were cooking bacon. Bacon, for God’s sake. My daughter looked at me pleadingly as soon as they suggested we stay. Her face was horrified at the idea that I might say no and her nose was intoxicated by the scent of frying bacon.

We stayed.

It was awesome.

Here’s ten reasons why.

1. The people you’re dining with are genuinely appreciative of the meal you serve them—even if it’s chili-mac and canned fruit cocktail.

2. Your six year old gets to be the waitress. It’s like playing restaurant, one of her favorites, except with real food and with real people. Your child is happy and entertained instead of glaring and gagging when you tell her that all she has to do to get dessert is eat three fucking green beans.

3. No one is surfing the internet while they eat a meal you spent an hour cooking. The church basement doesn’t have the internet.

4. Not a single person asks you if you washed their work pants today or tells you that you’re out of toilet paper.

5. When the people you’re eating with complain about their day, you actually care because it’s probably about something genuinely awful that happened to them. It isn’t just some bullshit middle class problem like rush-hour traffic or that they didn’t eat their lunch today because they don’t like peanut butter and jelly this week.

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6. A little lesson in humility never hurt anyone. Especially a privileged white kid who just asked you what an apartment was last week.

7. A team of several people help you cook, serve, and clean up. You don’t even have to ask. They just do it.

8. You don’t have to get up while you’re eating dinner to switch laundry loads. See #4.

9. There isn’t a dog drooling all over your foot and trying her best to look forlorn and emaciated even though there is a full bowl of dog food ten feet behind her. You don’t have to repeatedly yell “NO BEGGING!” while you finish your meal.

10. In a small way, you make someone whose life is way shittier than yours a little better that day and it makes you feel good. Really good.

When we were finished with our meal, my daughter asked if we could eat dinner there every Thursday. Forever.

You know what? I think we’re going to try.

This post was originally published on Modest Mess.


About Megan Pruno

Megan Premo is a wife, ex-wife, mother, basket-case and writer (not necessarily in that order) who lives and works in Portland, Oregon. She swears like a longshoreman because she is one. When she’s not shopping for deals on boxed wine, she’s avoiding her laundry, working on two unfinished novels (which have sat in her computer for years) and blogging at Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.