By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer
NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Valley Soup Kitchen is opening up a small shop to raise funds for the fledgling organization.
Carly Holloway, a pastry chef who started the soup kitchen with her COVID-19 stimulus check in April, is opening the NVSK’s Little Shop at 258 Rubber Ave.
The shop, which Holloway plans to open for the first time on Friday, will sell prepackaged baked goods, jams and donated craft items to benefit the soup kitchen. Holloway plans to open the shop Fridays through Sundays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The shop is at the concession stand at the former Parks and Recreation Department office on Rubber Avenue. Borough officials are letting Holloway use the concession stand for no charge, she said.
Holloway has been raising money for the soup kitchen by selling goods at the Naugatuck farmer’s market.
“The farmer’s market is going to end soon so we needed the space so that we could continue fundraising after the farmer’s market ends,” Holloway said.
The soup kitchen delivers roughly 300 meals per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For now, volunteers only deliver meals. Holloway, who prepares food at the Naugatuck Elks Lodge and her home, is hoping to open a stand-alone soup kitchen where people can pick up food.
“The mayor is helping us to expand and to get bigger investors, so that one day we can have our own kitchen,” Holloway said.
The soup kitchen also has mobile pantries at locations around the borough, including at the police and fire departments, for people to pick up food. Holloway said the pantries are highly used.
“We need more donations. We want to grow how many people we can feed a week,” Holloway said. “We’re not growing as much as I’d like to. I think if we had a bigger budget, we can help more people. I know the need is there.”
For information or to donate, visit the Naugatuck Valley Soup Kitchen’s Facebook page.