(Left to Right: Meriden Advisory Board Chairman Mike Murdy, Meriden Corps Officer Lieutenant L. LeNissa Rivera, Nelson Mendez, Pastor George Barriera, Divisional Leader Eunice Champlin, Divisional Leader Major David Champlin)
MERIDEN – This was the 6th year of the Meriden Salvation Army’s Soup, Soap and Hope event, which was held at the Four Points by Sheraton in Meriden on May 12th. The tasty soups were donated by local restaurants: Avanti Italian Restaurant and Lounge (Pasta e Fagioli); Colony Diner and Restaurant (Chicken Rice); Tata’s Restaurant – Caribbean Cuisine (Cream of Plantain); and Sans Souci Restaurant and Lounge (Chicken Vegetable).
Lieutenant LeNissa Rivera, Meriden’s Salvation Army Corps Officer, welcomed the crowd and thanked them for their valuable and visible support of The Salvation Army and its mission. “While the face of poverty has changed over the years, need remains, and so does the mission of The Salvation Army. It is because of the commitment of our dedicated supporters like you, that we are able to continue to serve people in Meriden,” Rivera said.
Meriden Advisory Board Chairman Mike Murdy thanked the Advisory Board members. “Your service is a way of volunteering and giving back to the community you live in.” The Advisory Board assists in the Army’s mission to minister to the whole person physically, emotionally and spiritually.
The Meriden Salvation Army continues to bring hope to those in need in Meriden through its food pantry, soup kitchen and food backpack programs. Needy are clothed during the cold winter months, and boys and girls are educated through music and character development programs. The outreach program, called Club 3:16, teaches practical skills to children and gives them the opportunity to earn emblems as recognition for their accomplishments.
The Salvation Army in Meriden is also rolling out a new program this year – Pathway of Hope. Pathway of Hope is a strengths-based, long-term approach to helping families leave poverty behind for good. Pathway of Hope provides the guidance, tools, and assistance necessary to support struggling families along the continuum of growth to self-sufficiency.
Catherine R. Battista, City Council & Deputy Majority Leader, was the Keynote Speaker of the evening. “I see the heart of The Salvation Army in Meriden growing. It has the heart of a father and mother toward their children,” Battista said.