Our Mission: We exist to share free meals in a warm, safe environment where all are welcome.
Our Vision: Sharing a warm meal for a better COMMUNITY.
We are committed to providing an accessible, reliable service in a positive environment.
Community Partnerships: We strive to cultivate relationships and collaborate with community service and business entities to support the nutritional needs of our guests Compassionate: We treat our guests, volunteers, and community partners with acceptance, genuineness, empathy and non-judgement.
Accountability: We act with complete transparency and the utmost integrity to make strategic, fiscally responsible decisions.
Volunteer Driven: We value our volunteers and their ideas, opinions and work which sustains our operation.
The Isabella Community Soup Kitchen (ICSK) began in 1990 thanks to Gary Taylor as a class project while he was a student at CMU. Gary witnessed a fellow student from China eating a ketchup sandwich, the only food available to him at that time. The student explained to Gary that the country sponsoring his stay in the U.S. only furnished funds for books, materials, room and board but not much else for food. Gary could find no existing food resource in the area and started the project. The Wesley Foundation located on the CMU campus, where Gary’s spouse worked as the secretary, offered to provide its small kitchen and cafeteria to feed the those in need in Isabella County.
After three years, the number of patrons had grown and a new facility was needed to make this accommodation. Trinity Methodist Church, located in downtown Mt. Pleasant, offered the use of their basement which included a larger kitchen to shelter the ICSK. The Soup Kitchen operated in the space for nearly 10 years.
Once again, the need for additional space grew. A suitable site was located to construct a new building next to Millpond Park located on the west side of Mt Pleasant. With the help from the Board of Directors and the Fundraising Committee Chairman Clarence Tuma, owner of the well-known former Mt Pleasant “Embers” restaurant, the project was under way. Thanks to the great response and pledges made by the Mt. Pleasant community, a new soup kitchen was constructed and opened its doors in 2002. The soup kitchen remains at this South Adams Street location to this day.
In the fall of 2003, a very generous donation was received from the estate of a former Soup Kitchen Lead cook, one of our original volunteers. The size of this donation enabled the Soup Kitchen to pay off our mortgage.
In 2019, ICSK embarked on its first Capital Campaign since 2001. Jeff and Vicki Tuma graciously agreed to lead the effort to honor Jeff’s father, Clarence Tuma. With the support of the Mt. Pleasant community, the campaign was a success. We raised over $500,000 allowing us to expand our building and make necessary renovations to support the population we serve.