SARATOGA SPRINGS — For the last year Wilton resident Julie Borden has been cooking meals for the homeless, once a week, in her own kitchen and distributing the food on the porch of the New England Congregation Presbyterian Church in Saratoga Springs. This month and just over a year later, Borden’s “Stone Soup Ministry” will be now cooking out of the Kitchen the Saratoga Springs Methodist Church. Previously Borden cooked in her small kitchen for roughly 50 to 70 people every week.
“We just hope to be a big support for Shelters of Saratoga and Code Blue so that we can end homelessness,” Borden said.
Stone Soup Ministry works in conjunction with Shelters of Saratoga and Code Blue, both organizations that aim to assist the homeless in Saratoga and the surrounding area.
“I kind of had that idea in the back of my head… I just kept getting these nudges, feeling like I was supposed to be working for the homeless and then as things unfolded, everything fell into place,” said Borden, who is a hairdresser and also going to school for psychology.
Her work began in 2017 when a friend received a free turkey but had already had one for Thanksgiving. Borden had suggested that they make a turkey soup to serve to the homeless. Soon after Borden had agreed to make meals for Code Blue on Monday nights because hey were in need of meals. When Code Blue closed, Borden then got permission to continue serving food at the New England Congregation Presbyterian Church.
Through her time serving meals, Borden says she has gained trust of the people she helps and began assisting in more ways than one. Borden also mentors these individuals, provides clothing, tents and connects the homeless to housing.
“My motivation is that there’s so many of us that have an extra can of this or an extra bag of rice and I thought well if we could all come together and just take a little extra of what each of us have we could all be fulfilled... All of us coming together with a little can really make a huge difference in the lives of many,” Borden said.
The name Stone Soup Ministry comes from the folk story about a small town that bands together to feed its hungry residents. Borden has roughly five volunteers and is always looking for donation whether it be be it monetary, clothing tents or sleeping bags.