A Winnipeg couple is sharing their gift of soup and homemade bread with people who are shut in during this pandemic.
Paulette Côté and Peter Czehryn, a couple that calls themselves the 'Soup Fairies', have been married for almost 29 years. Côté is retiring this March.
"I'm on leave from education this year. I worked as a community liaison worker for the last five years. We've always volunteered so soup just kind of flowed from there," says Côté.
While she says that she will miss her school community, this volunteer initiative will keep her and her husband busy now for awhile.
It started when someone they knew was diagnosed with the coronavirus.
"My cousin who is a nurse was COVID positive. She was going to go to her condo on her own. I asked her what kind of soup she wanted and she said chicken noodle. She calls herself patient zero."
That was the first time Côté and her husband made and brought soup to help someone in need, as people COVID positive cannot go anywhere.
"Then we had a few more, including a family member that tested positive so we would drop off groceries and soup at the door. Then friends started calling and it just kept growing."
Offering this service to the public meant they would have to make sure everything was up to code.
"St. Mary's Road United Church offered us their kitchen, it's a licensed kitchen," says Côté.
When they drop off the soup, they put it on the doorstep and then back away so that it is a contactless delivery.
"My sister and brother-in-law stepped up to make soup as well. They own Shannon's Irish Pub. Then another chef came forward, Roger Wilson with Chef in the House in Beausejour."
Each group of chefs make soup every three weeks, dropping off homemade soup once a week to those that need it. Since they started sharing soup, they have given away over 100 litres of soup.
"Folks have just been amazing, dropping off cookies and chocolates. We're making homemade bread to go with it now. Plus people have donated $2,700 that will be dedicated to the cost of soup ingredients and containers," she says.
The soup fairies are blessing anyone affected by COVID-19, not just people who've tested positive.
"It's not easy times for people. We've had some folks who've passed from COVID and we're delivering soup to their families. There are some people who've been pulled out of retirement to work frontline in nursing so we're delivering soup to them as well," she says.
They haven't turned down a request for soup yet. This week's soup donations will be the only homemade meal many will have this Christmas.
"There are tears, laughter, thanks and gratitude. It's wonderful to see and hear how people are so appreciative," says Czehryn.
The couple has worked together in the kitchen quite often for the past three decades.
"We've decided that this is something we can do every three weeks and we would like to do this throughout the pandemic. It's been a bright spot for many and it's important," says Côté.