Motown Soup hits $1 million donation mark

It's been 14 years since Motown Soup started fighting hunger and homelessness.

The numbers by themselves aren't very big. They offer 20 varieties of soup. Each sells for $8 a bag, which can feed a family of four with leftovers for later. Everything earned is sent to over 80 organizations. 

"The secret is passion," said Zak Kennedy, of Motown Soup. "People see a need and they have a passion and they are excited to come out here and help and they are able to give back without having to take money out of their pockets..."

But after almost a decade and a half of service to the metro communities, there's one more number that's worth mentioning: $1 million in distributed funds.

"I don't have $1 million to give back myself, but I am part of a group that does and that makes me feel really good," said Elaine Colombo, also with Motown Soup. "Over the years we have become a family, we have high school kids all the way to 90-year-olds that come in and I wouldn't know these people necessarily otherwise."

Motown Soup operates out of Trinity Lutheran Church in Utica. As often as they can, volunteers fill the halls of the building and divvy up seasonings, mixes and dips into bags to be distributed. Specializing in flavored-soups that range from lasagna and cheeseburger to white chicken chili and chicken pot pie, the offered mixes offer a sprinkle of dedication and a whole lot of heart.

"No one can live on minimum wage, even if you have that much it's very hard for anyone to live below poverty so we are helping as much as we can and as many places as we can," said Colombo.

Not to say they don't dabble on the wild side every once in a while. Kennedy hinted at something barbeque-scented in the near future. But as for now?

"It's top secret right now," he said.