The First Congregational Church of Camden will once again host a community hot soup luncheon every Wednesday at noon, beginning Oct. 28.

The meal will be served in the church hall at 55 Elm St., Camden. The soup lunch features a choice of two homemade soups (one vegetarian), bread, dessert, and coffee or tea. Diners are often treated to musical accompaniment from a variety of local talents. There is no charge for the meal, though donations are gratefully accepted to help defray the cost of the food.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to provide a weekly community gathering place, and we hope that everyone will feel comfortable coming to share some delicious, homemade soups,” commented the program’s Soupervisor, Debbi Hitchings. “Through the generosity of our loyal volunteers, other local churches and local food purveyors, this program has become a true mark of hospitality for our community.”

The free lunch program was started by the Congregational Church in the fall of 2005 as a community gesture to fight the winter doldrums while providing a nutritious hot meal to those in need, those who are lonely, and for those who simply enjoy the company of others while eating.

A weekly crew of 18-20 volunteers served lunch to an average of 75 guests each week during the 2015-2016 season. The program runs for 21 weeks, and new volunteers are always welcome to join the team as chefs, bakers, servers, wait staff, greeters, clean up crew, and musicians.

The soup luncheons will run weekly through March 29. Due to the holidays, there will be no lunches served on Nov. 23 or Dec. 21. Any snow day cancellations will follow the Camden area school district. Anyone and everyone — from all age groups and walks of life — is always welcome to share in the lunch or help make Soup's On! happen. For more information about the program or to volunteer, please contact Debbi Hitchings at The First Congregational Church, at 236-4821.