Soup and Thrift bring Whispers of Hope to MAAP

Whispers of Hope has opened up at their new location in the Multi-Agency Accommodation Project (MAAP) building on Riverside Drive.

Andre Boruck

Whispers of Hope has opened up at their new location in the Multi-Agency Accommodation Project (MAAP) building on Riverside Drive. Located in the rear of the building, Whispers operates a soup kitchen with a thrift store up front which sells used clothing and other items with the proceeds helping to run the community kitchen.“The proceeds from the thrift store help run the kitchen,” said Andre Boruck, coordinator for Whispers of Hope. “Everything in the store has been donated by the public.”The kitchen, which feeds between 20 and 25 people per day, opened on Nov. 1, while the thrift store opened Nov. 7.“We open at 9 a.m. and serve coffee and treats until 10:30 a.m. when we start serving lunch,” he said. “We serve a hot lunch from 10:30 a.m. until 12 p.m.”Boruck said they are very excited about being in a new building and working close by both Habitat for Humanity and BETHS.“We’re very, very happy here,” he said. “Specifically, we’re very happy with Habitat, who’ve helped sponsor to get the renovations done.”
Boruck also credits the City of Grand Forks for buying the property and leasing it to Habitat for Humanity (for $1 per year).“We’re sub-leasing off of Habitat,” he said. “We’re paying some back to Habitat to cover some of the renovations. Once it’s paid, we’ll have very low operating costs. Charitable organizations often struggle with finances. “When you can find a building you can stay in for a reasonable cost, obviously, that helps. So, we’re very happy with the building.”In addition to the lower expenses, Whispers of Hope will have a much bigger space to operate it.“We’ve gone from a very small square footage for the kitchen where you couldn’t use the fridge and the stove at the same time or else you’d bump into each other, to a nice big kitchen,” he said. “The thrift store space is much more user friendly as well. You used to have to walk through the kitchen to get to the thrift store. Now we have our own store front.”

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