North End Soup Kitchen is dishing up meals, but needs your help

Sandwiches are being prepared at the North End Soup Kitchen.

Three soup kitchens operated by Catholic Charities feed 400 to 700 people everyday.

Around the holidays they need your help more than ever.

Carl Newell is among the hundreds of people who get a hot meal at the North End Soup Kitchen. "I'm an old man, I'm 82 years old," said Newell.

Newell lives on about 600 a month in Social Security. He remembers Flint in the good times and now.

"It's down, way own. I'm retired."

His health is not good.

Newell said, "[I've had] heart attacks, [and a] stroke".

The head of the soup kitchen, John Manse, says Newell is typical of the people who come here for lunch. He says while the economy has improved nationwide, we're not seeing that in the Flint area.

Manse says, "While 30 to 40 percent of our clients are homeless, the majority are working class people not making enough."

Manse also said the kitchen survives by donations and volunteers. On the day NBC25 stopped by they were making pickle-loaf sandwiches.

Through the years, Melissa Akins has made thousands of sandwiches for those who need lunch. Akins described her busiest day, "The highest amount in one day [was] 998. I was making sandwiches in my sleep that night."

Adkins directs the sandwich operation, while in the kitchen, a 25-year volunteer was just hired to direct the hot food.

Gloria Waite said, "They love pot pie, chili, that's what they really like."

Waite says the volunteers love helping people, especially the kids. "One kid came up to me and said, when I get home I'm gonna thank my mom, I didn't know how hard she works."

NBC25, Catholic Charities, and Dort Federal Credit Union are teaming up for our annual 25 Days of Giving.

For the next 25 days we will be collecting food and toiletries at a variety of locations across Mid-Michigan to benefit Catholic Charities of Genesee and Shiawassee Counties.

Go to our 25 Days of Giving page to locate a drop-off location near you and to see how else you can help.