While it wasn’t Holy Communion, those who came in out of the heat at the Christian Soup Ministry Monday afternoon shared gallons of cold milk and donuts sliced in half.

Before handing out the free jugs of milk, Pastor Ryan Raigoza preached about repentance. He told the group they didn’t need to live with discouragement always feeling knocked down; they just needed to do a complete turnaround.

“You’re walking one way and stop and turn around, that’s repentance,” Raigoza said as he offered a demonstration, stopping and turning from the group.

Meanwhile, stragglers continued to enter the building, letting the storm door slam behind. The scent from the heat of the day carried with them.

Each person signed in a notebook opened on the table where Stanley Murdock, the soup kitchen’s director, sat. As long as the milk lasted, donated weekly by Dillon's/Kroger, she handed it out. But the rule is one gallon per household, that’s why people sign for the milk. She has run into eight different people leaving at the same address getting more than their share of milk.

Calmly, she greeted each person in her soothing voice, with no tension or stress visible. Never mind that Murdock counts on six to eight volunteers to prepare 200 meals - with 60 of those meals delivered by volunteers - four times a week. Even though she still needs volunteers for July 31 and five more days in August remain open, she appears composed.

“In the 25 years I’ve been here, there has been food,” Murdock said.

She remembers walking through the door of the soup kitchen on an afternoon just after she had started as director. There was no food available for that evening; no one had volunteered. She was asking herself what she was going to feed the hungry.

Just then a man from Morton Salt just showed up with leftovers from their company picnic. There was enough for everyone.

“God never lets us down,” Murdock said.

Monday afternoon in the building's basement, members of Holy Cross Catholic Church assembled ham and cheese sandwiches. For more than 25 years, members of Holy Cross have prepared meals. They have it down to a science - one group sets up, another serves and delivers and a cleanup crew follows.

“Our philosophy is different than other nonprofit organizations. We have an open-door policy. Our mission statement is you must give an account,” Murdock said. “One day you will have to account to God. We are a Christian organization, and people donate to us. We give to whoever comes through the door.”

Even though the calendar still needs to be filled with volunteers through Dec. 15, Murdock is confident the church groups and organizations will come through. Working at the soup kitchen has deepened her faith.

“He’ll give us something to work with,” she said.