The First Presbyterian Church Soup Kitchen has received an unexpected boost thanks to local shoppers.

The Portage Farmers Market held their Mother's Day Market on May 6th, with a silver collection going toward the soup kitchen. At the end of the day, the market raised $445. Executive director of the Farmers Market Jodie Poirier says they wanted to run a donation drive since many organizations in the city hold fundraisers to coincide with holidays, yet they hadn't noticed one for Mother's Day.

"I was absolutely floored," says Poirier when asked about her reaction to the amount raised. "It exceeded my expectations by far. It was just a silver collection at the door. People chose to donate money if they wanted to, and they were extremely generous."

She explains that this is the first time the Farmers Market has supported the soup kitchen. Poirier is glad that the board supported her decision, and is excited to run more fundraisers in the future.

Coordinator at the soup kitchen, Shelly Burton, was unaware of the fundraiser until the money was totalled, and while she's happy about the donation, she isn't surprised that the community stepped up.

"Portage has been behind us 100 per cent," notes Burton. "They're just there for us all the time. If we have a need, they fill it. It initially shocked me how giving the community is so we can continue to run the soup kitchen."

With the extra funds, Burton is hoping to have a special barbecue, as well as use some of the funds to purchase floor cleaner, garbage bags, and other supplies that often go unnoticed when operating a soup kitchen.

Burton mentions she's always looking for volunteers. She asks that anyone interested call her at 204-470-9386.