Use the social share buttons to help Soup for the Soul! You can vote four times by sharing to each of the social platforms and leaving a comment below. If they receive a combined 500 votes and comments by April 13, 2021 Soup for the Soul will win $10,000 on behalf of Peel & Holland!
The office of Peel & Holland Insurance in Murray, Kentucky, is about 100 feet away from Soup for the Soul, a nonprofit that serves the hungry in Calloway County with “food for the body, kindness for the soul, and hope for the future.”
But in reality, Soup for the Soul is even closer to Peel & Holland—because agency president Roy Riley and his wife, Jennifer, have been involved since shortly after it was founded.
“Peel & Holland has been entrenched in Soup for the Soul from the early stages,” said Kenny Roth, a risk advisor for the company. Roth was recruited by Jennifer Riley to serve in the soup kitchen after she saw the passion that founder Debbie Smith had for feeding the hungry.
Coming together to fulfill a dream
“Debbie realized that each day, many in our area were hungry and without food,” he said. “But the nearest place for them to receive a hot meal was miles away. So we all banded together to help her dream become a reality.”
The day it launched in 2015, Soup for the Soul served sandwiches to 10 people. Now, it provides over 100 hot meals some days—and the Summer Lunch & Literacy Program feeds both mind and body, delivering meals and books for over 300 kids a week when school is out.
‘We’re ready to serve at a moment’s notice.’
—Kenny Roth, risk advisor at Peel & Holland Insurance
The agency’s involvement has continued to grow as well, with the Rileys remaining a driving force. Roy assists in guiding the nonprofit’s vision and goals, while raising funds and even serving as “lead dishwasher.” Jennifer, a longtime board member, also chaired the board for three years and spearheaded the summer program for kids. Roth joined the board soon after Soup for the Soul opened, and is in the kitchen weekly.
In total, 15 Peel & Holland employees are involved, with a group regularly volunteering for a six-hour shift one day a month preparing and serving dinner. “We’re ready to serve at a moment’s notice,” Roth said.
“The work we do could not continue without people like Kenny, Roy, and Jennifer—and companies like Peel & Holland,” said Olivia Robison, program manager and volunteer coordinator at Soup for the Soul. “As the need has grown during the pandemic, their support is more vital than ever.”
Steady support in the wake of COVID
Peel & Holland is still there for Soup for the Soul, even while in-person volunteering is restricted. When the nonprofit created a to-go meal system in the wake of COVID-19, requiring modifications to the building, the agency not only helped spread the word about the project, but made a substantial contribution as well.
And a 2021 Make More Happen Award will help Soup for the Soul continue to provide a sense of community in addition to nourishment—“more than just soup,” as the nonprofit’s motto says. The award includes a donation of up to $10,000 from Safeco and Liberty Mutual on behalf of Peel & Holland.
“The appreciation and genuine gratitude of the people we serve at the kitchen each day makes it all worthwhile,” Roth said. “We’re not just feeding hungry people. We’re building relationships that help them grow mentally and spiritually as well.”