Originally created 09/29/05

Benefit will help soup kitchen expansion



The line begins forming well before 11 a.m.

With space for about 40 people, the dining room in the Masters Table Soup Kitchen fills quickly.

"They have to eat in shifts," said Nancy Hodge, the Masters Table's capital campaign chairwoman.

The soup kitchen, at 842 Fenwick St., near the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center, serves hot meals to between 260 and 300 people from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily.

To raise money for a new soup kitchen, an evening of Music, Magic and Fun will be held at West Lake Country Club at 7 p.m. Friday.

The beach-music band Magic will perform, and restaurants including Calvert's, Cutie Pie's, DaVinci Cakes, Southern Cookers and Wife Saver will provide heavy hors d'oeuvres.

Some who frequent the Masters Table are homeless and living on the streets. Others are the working poor, said Armen Boyajian, the director of development for Golden Harvest Food Bank, which sponsors the soup kitchen.

The average age of those served at the soup kitchen last year was 45, and the number of people fed daily keeps rising, he said.

Two years ago, fewer than 200 people a day were fed at the center.

"There's a crying need" for a new soup kitchen, Mr. Boyajian said.

Not only is the current building too small but it also floods during heavy rains and has frequent plumbing problems, said Ms. Hodge, who has overseen volunteers from her church at the soup kitchen for seven years.

The campaign for a new kitchen is in its infancy. So far, about $4,000 has been raised. Plans are to build a 5,000-square-foot building downtown by January 2007, Mr. Boyajian said.

In addition to being a place to feed the hungry, Mr. Boyajian said, the new facility could be used to provide other services for the poor, such as limited medical care.

For more information or to buy tickets, call 736-1199, ext. 212, or 840-5990.

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.

If You Go

What: Music, Magic and Fun, a fundraiser for the Masters Table Soup Kitchen

When: 7 p.m., Friday

Where: West Lake Country Club

Cost: $50

Phone: 736-1199, ext. 212, or 840-5990