Soup Kitchens Offer Those in Need Both Food and Shelter

A former Navy commander, Captain David Schnell retired honorably from service in 2010. Since that time, Captain David Schnell has assumed leadership of Christ’s Kitchen, a hunger outreach program in San Diego, California.

For those who rely upon soup kitchens, the benefit goes far beyond that of a single hot meal. For some families, food distributed at no charge allows hard-earned wages to go toward rent, fuel, and medication. This alone can help a family keep a roof over their heads. For those without a roof of their own, the soup kitchen provides a safe haven, as well. Soup kitchen managers often report patrons lingering longer than it takes to eat a meal, enjoying the refuge from the elements and the fellowship of others.

Soup kitchens offer food without question and without eligibility verification, which enables patrons to get what they need without having to prove income or family status. Similarly, a soup kitchen gives a person a place to go with no strings attached, a luxury often difficult to obtain in a world of private property and secure buildings.


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A U.S. Navy veteran with more than 26 years of experience as an officer in increasingly challenging roles, including the command of two naval warships, David Schnell has a vast background in executive leadership, management, and team building. David Schnell’s military service offered him the chance to develop a wide range of skills in business management, crisis management, financial planning, and problem solving. He served in multiple deployments to the Arabian Gulf, provided combat support to ongoing military operations in the Middle East, and led thousands of sailors from a variety of different professional backgrounds. During his naval career, David Schnell served as Commanding Officer on board the USS Peleliu, an amphibious aircraft carrier and flagship for an expeditionary strike group, and the USS Ford, a guided missile frigate in support of an aircraft carrier strike group. During both commands, he led a total of 1,250 sailors and oversaw the security of 1,800 Marines in combat and support operations. David Schnell also held several staff positions in Washington, DC, including Staff Officer to the Chief of Naval Operations Deep Blue Directorate, where he offered technical guidance and expertise on emerging warfare concepts, and Branch Chief to the Joint Staff in the War on Terrorism Directorate, where he worked on anti-proliferation issues concerning weapons of mass destruction as well as biological and chemical agents. Schnell retired honorably from the Navy as a Captain and currently works in San Diego as Executive Director of Christ Kitchen, an organization that provides thousands of meals to people who are homeless and families in need. David Schnell also serves on the board of Walden Family Services and is a counselor with Royal Family Kids Camp, two organizations that offer assistance, support, and developmental activities to foster children.

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