Little Dunmow soup kitchen to shut its doors after 20 years of service

Kathleen Carhart has been running the soup kitchen from her house for over 20 years.

Kathleen Carhart has been running the soup kitchen from her house for over 20 years. - Credit: Archant

FOR more than 20 years Kathleen Carhart has been running a soup kitchen in her own house in Little Dunmow – but her doors close for the last time today (Thursday).

Kathleen Carhart has been running the kitchen from her house for over 20 years.

Kathleen Carhart has been running the kitchen from her house for over 20 years. - Credit: Archant

Mrs Carhart, 90, volunteered to set up the kitchen for St Mary’s Church in the early 1990s and has been running it from her home ever since.

It runs for seven weeks a year during Lent with a small fee collected to help raise money for Christian charities.

Mrs Carhart said: “This is very, very rewarding. To be able to give so much money to charity for so long is great but I’m afraid it’s getting so much for me now.

“I have been doing this for well over 20 years and have a fantastic team of helpers, but I think the time has come to stop.”


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All Mrs Carhart’s soup is homemade, as is the bread, which is served with fresh fruit for desert.

Her home can accommodate up to 30 diners at a time, but in the past as many as 40 people have attended her meal sessions.

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Mrs Carhart’s charitable endeavours saw her receive recognition from Her Majesty in 2013 when she made the New Year’s Honours List – she was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to Little Dunmow.

She is now looking forward to having lunch at the Queen’s garden party in May.

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