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Stone soup feeds hungry

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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Local businesses are coming together to support the less fortunate in our community with hearty soup dinners. .

Led by the Green Diamond Resource Company, the Stone Soup Society plans to provide one meal each week for a year to the St. David's Parish Hall Ministries, which serves free dinners every night to anyone in the community in need of a hot meal.

The Soup Society serves' dinner at St. David's Episcopal Church at 5 p.m. every Friday night.

"We designed this program in the tradition of the old stone soup story," Patti Case, public affairs/regulatory manager at Green Diamond said.

The story, she said, features a peddler who comes to a town and promises to make a soup from water and a special stone. The community's residents say there is a famine, but members offer a few carrots, a meat bone, onions and other ingredients and a delicious soup is provided to all.

"In the same vein, many hands make light work here in Shelton," Case said. "We are asking businesses to provide ingredients for one soup, a contribution that is manageable for the many small businesses here in our community."

Barb Weza, who runs the community meals program, said Case came up with the idea for the Stone Soup Society.

"I thought it was just brilliant that she would use the analogy of the stone soup story," Weza said. "With her position in the community ... she's such an asset to the whole thought process of it."

Local businesses have volunteered to serve as the "Kitchen Cabinet." Members of the cabinet rotate to provide one soup dinner each month to the program at St. David's.

Cabinet members include West Coast Bank, Mason County PUD 3, Windermere Himlie Realty, Alpine Way Retirement Community, Key Bank, the Shelton-Mason County Journal, Our Community Credit Union, Hood Canal Communications and the Green Diamond Resource Company.

"We're so grateful for all, of the community members that have come forward," Weza said.

The St. David's Parish Hall Ministries includes volunteers from several local churches. In addition to providing daily dinners for the homeless and impoverished in Shelton, the ministry also provides free showers three days a week and a nighttime cold weather shelter.

In 2011, the ministry served 13,404 meals and the shelter was open 143 nights, serving 1,760 guests.

Each night the community meals program serves between 70 and 100 people, Weza said.

"There is a need," she said. "It really is wonderful because although we have been doing the meals now for six years with church volunteers we are now getting businesses on board to support the ministry as well."

If cooking dinner once a month is too big of a committment, individuals and organizations can give monetary donations to St. David's. To participate in the Stone Soup Society, go to and click "Get Involved," or contact Case at

"In founding the Stone Soup Society, our aim is to work with the business community to raise awareness and increase participation from that sector," Case said.

Copyright 2012 Shelton-Mason County Journal, Shelton, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: May 3, 2012

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