Organic Soup Kitchen has been a vital asset to the Santa Barbara community since 2009. Amidst a heavy recession, we were stricken by a dream: to supplement seniors and low-income families with organic, nutrient-dense meals that mindfully aid the immune system.
We began curating a variety of flavorful soups without compromising our original mission: to deliver organic, richly nutritious food with the intent to nourish bodies and spirits. We learned to craft our soups with purpose, using non-radiated herbs and spices to ensure their medicinal value, coconut milk from Thailand and therefore free of binding agents or preservatives, and with locally-sourced ingredients that support our community’s farmers. Our soups have always been, and will remain, unique and thoughtfully produced.
Shortly into our humble endeavor, Santa Barbara’s medical community became aware of our organic, nutrient-dense soups. Our partnership with the medical community expanded, as did our client outreach, and we began to recognize that many cancer patients suffer from dysphagia, a limited ability to swallow, and a loss of appetite. Furthermore, most low-income individuals with cancer or other chronic illnesses suffer from isolation and malnutrition. To combat these symptoms, we began to reformulate and puree our nutritionally-balanced soup meals for ease of consumption. We also established a soup meal production and delivery system with trained volunteer drivers to personally deliver our meals to the homes of our clients and ensure compassionate community connections. Thus, the Cancer Recovery Program, a division of Organic Soup Kitchen, launched in 2015.
On the heels of our ten-year anniversary in 2019, we renovated an abandoned kitchen into an eco-conscious production facility in order to meet an increased demand for our services. Our industrial equipment and stabilization process has allowed us to blanch and roast fresh produce before vacuum-sealing it in its natural juices without preservatives, which maintains the natural texture, flavor, and nutritional value of the produce. As a bonus, we salvage seasonal, organic produce from local farmers in order to reduce our carbon footprint. Our kitchen, office, and storage space are now housed in one location as opposed to three, allowing us to streamline our energy and effectively focus on our clients’ needs.
Without a doubt, cancer is an epidemic and a strong immune system is vital to recovery. No one should have to compromise their nutrition, and at Organic Soup Kitchen, we pride ourselves on our impact within the most fragile demographic in our community. Since 2009, we have served over 1 million soup meals to clients in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Summerland, Carpinteria, and the Santa Ynez Valley. We can’t wait to serve 1 million more.