From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A soup kitchen or a bread line is a place where food is offered to the poor and homeless for free or at a reasonably low price. Frequently located in lower-income neighborhoods, they are often staffed by volunteer organizations, such as church groups or community groups. Soup kitchens sometimes obtain food from a food bank for free or at a low price, because they are considered a charity.
The concept of soup kitchens hit the mainstream of U.S. consciousness during the Great Depression. One soup kitchen in Chicago was even sponsored by Italian mobster Al Capone in an effort to clean up his image. Inventor Benjamin Thompson, contemporary to the Founding Fathers of the United States, is said to have invented the soup kitchen.