Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry, Inc. exists to be a food security resource to the greater Chicopee community by providing access with respect and dignity.
We strive to reduce the risk and effects that food insecurity has on families and individuals by investing in those we serve through collaboration with our community partners to educate and raise awareness. We recognize the need for excellence through transparency, strong stewardship, innovative and strategic planning and effective development of a team of committed staff and volunteers.
The Story of Lorraine’s
A group of citizens joined together when they saw a need to assist the hungry and disadvantaged in the Chicopee community. They formed a non-profit organization called Chicopee Emergency Food & Fuel (CHIEFF) which served as a voucher program to residents.
The Chicopee Soup Kitchen was opened at 35 Center Street, volunteer teams from Willimansett Nursing Home served the kitchen’s first meal of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to 13 people. Operating two nights a week, the word soon spread and attendance rose to over 25 people.
A food pantry was established at The Chicopee Soup Kitchen, accepting donations from local retailers, wholesalers, churches and local agencies. On average, 20 families were given much needed groceries through the pantry. Nearly all food and monetary donations came directly from Chicopee residents.
The Chicopee Soup Kitchen & Pantry was renamed Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry to honor Lorraine Houle, the first director of the organization.
To better accommodate the growing need to help families in Chicopee, Lorraine’s launched a capital campaign to relocate to a state-of-the-art facility at 170 Pendexter Avenue. The property where Lorraine’s currently resides was donated by Callaway Golf Operations, a long-time and avid supporter of the organization.
Lorraine’s has served over 50 families a day in the pantry and up to 120 people a night for dinner.
With a dedicated staff of eight people, the organization is under the direction of Executive Director Andrea Marion.