Miss Polly: serving more than food

  • Irma Rainey, of Jacksonville, picks up meals for her family. Pulley said the soup kitchen feeds all who come, no questions asked, from 3:30-4 pm Monday through Thursday. Pulley said the soup kitchen feeds all who come, no questions asked, from 3:30-4 pm Monday through Thursday. She said attendance ranges between 39-50 meals the first week of the month. But as the month goes on and some people have trouble stretching their food assistance, they distribute about 70 meals. On Thursdays they double up and also provide an additional sack meal for Friday’s dinner. 

 -  Polly Pulley and her volunteers at the Spirit of Faith Soup Kitchen in Jacksonville, photos for The Source, Thursday 4 February 2021
Photos by Steve & Tiffany of Warmowski Photography http://www.warmowskiphoto.com 217.473.5581 - 210204
  • Polly Pulley and Kim Edmonds clean dishes as other volunteers distribute free meals. You can find out more on the group’s Facebook page, and donations can be sent to Spirit of Faith, 105 E. Dunlap, Jacksonville IL 62650.  “I really do love and appreciate the people who come to get meals - they’re wonderful,” Pulley said. “If it wasn’t for the people coming to the soup kitchen, we wouldn’t be able to share our gift.”

  --  Polly Pulley and her volunteers at the Spirit of Faith Soup Kitchen in Jacksonville, photos for The Source, Thursday 4 February 2021
Photos by Steve & Tiffany of Warmowski Photography http://www.warmowskiphoto.com 217.473.5581 - 210204
  • Charles Lockhart with bags at the distribution window, which Lockhart sits at to have guests sign in and then get their meals. 

Charles Lockhart - Polly Pulley and her volunteers at the Spirit of Faith Soup Kitchen in Jacksonville, photos for The Source, Thursday 4 February 2021
Photos by Steve & Tiffany of Warmowski Photography http://www.warmowskiphoto.com 217.473.5581 - 210204
  • Kim Edmonds and Charles Lockhart carry a table with bags to the distribution window, which Lockhart sits at to have guests sign in and then get their meals. 

Kim Edmonds + Charles Lockhart -  Polly Pulley and her volunteers at the Spirit of Faith Soup Kitchen in Jacksonville, photos for The Source, Thursday 4 February 2021
Photos by Steve & Tiffany of Warmowski Photography http://www.warmowskiphoto.com 217.473.5581 - 210204
  • Polly Pulley dishes out corn and Sloppy Joes. The dining hall is where the soup kitchen usually feeds their guests, but with COVID precautions now all meals have to be picked up outside. The soup kitchen even has a mask policy, and if you get caught without one they have a three strikes policy and you’re not allowed back. Pulley said they have been doing everything possible to keep volunteers and guests safe. And, she’s thankful that soon she and other volunteers will be able to get vaccinated for serving as front-line workers. Kim Edmonds and Charles Lockhart carry a table with bags to the distribution window, which Lockhart sits at to have guests sign in and then get their meals. 

Polly Pulley and behind (from left Charles Lockhart, Nancy Scott, Kim Edmonds) --  Polly Pulley and her volunteers at the Spirit of Faith Soup Kitchen in Jacksonville, photos for The Source, Thursday 4 February 2021
Photos by Steve & Tiffany of Warmowski Photography http://www.warmowskiphoto.com 217.473.5581 - 210204
  • Polly Pulley, Charles Lockhart, Nancy Scott and Kim Edmonds (from left) put the final touches on meal packages. Pulley noted that Scott not only prepares meals every Thursday, but she also volunteers as a grant writer.

- Polly Pulley and her volunteers at the Spirit of Faith Soup Kitchen in Jacksonville, photos for The Source, Thursday 4 February 2021
Photos by Steve & Tiffany of Warmowski Photography http://www.warmowskiphoto.com 217.473.5581 - 210204
  • Charles Lockhart adds cookies to dessert bags. Lockhart volunteers every day at the soup kitchen. The Alton native moved to Jacksonville after a stint of living on Chicago’s south side, and said he started volunteering the second day of living in town. “A lot of our volunteers come once, then they become long-time volunteers,” said Pulley. 

-  Polly Pulley and her volunteers at the Spirit of Faith Soup Kitchen in Jacksonville, photos for The Source, Thursday 4 February 2021
Photos by Steve & Tiffany of Warmowski Photography http://www.warmowskiphoto.com 217.473.5581 - 210204
  • Pulley carries a can of food past a commercial refrigerator at the soup kitchen. She and others have food licenses, and have to meet all the health safety regulations that apply to commercial kitchens. Pulley said she was so happy with the response her organization received on a fundraiser last year to pay for a new roof. They received enough donations to also install a fire suppression system for the stove (which satisfied their insurance company), replaced an old furnace with a more efficient model and also were able to have some electrical work done. The soup kitchen also benefitted from a NAACP chicken and ham Christmas dinner with proceeds going to pay for food expenses.

 - Polly Pulley and her volunteers at the Spirit of Faith Soup Kitchen in Jacksonville, photos for The Source, Thursday 4 February 2021
Photos by Steve & Tiffany of Warmowski Photography http://www.warmowskiphoto.com 217.473.5581 - 210204
  • Kim Edmonds (left) and Polly Pulley put the ingredients together for a meal of Sloppy Joes recently at the Spirit of Faith Soup Kitchen in Jacksonville. “I couldn’t do all this without her,” Pulley said of Edmonds. The pair first received their food handlers licenses nearly five years ago, and they have been working every day ever since.

–  Polly Pulley and her volunteers at the Spirit of Faith Soup Kitchen in Jacksonville, photos for The Source, Thursday 4 February 2021
Photos by Steve & Tiffany of Warmowski Photography http://www.warmowskiphoto.com 217.473.5581 - 210204

Spirit of Faith Soup Kitchen volunteers keeping giving despite the difficulties.

Click on photo to see captioned slideshow.

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