If you’re feeling sick and need a touch of home, Chabad of Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo will deliver free, homemade chicken soup to your door.
Rabbi Haim Hilel and his wife, Miki Hilel, have offered this service to all students, regardless of their religious and ethnic background, since they established Chabad here 13 years ago.
Miki Hilel says it all began through word of mouth.
“Chicken soup express started when we got some calls from moms that their kids were sick and we offered to send them a bowl of soup and then just naturally someone said ‘oh I know I heard chabad delivers chicken soup’, and we’ve been doing it ever since,” Hilel said.
The soup the Hilel family makes is 100% kosher and made from scratch in their own kitchen.
“The secret to chicken soup isn’t actually the chicken; it’s chicken bones. We get packages – we go to Los Angeles and they have chicken bones already in packages – and the bones are what give it amazing flavor,” Hilel said.
During the colder seasons, the Hilels can expect to make around 10 deliveries of chicken soup per day, which are all personally given to students by the rabbi himself.
Because of this high demand, some students help out in the kitchen as well.
Environmental management and protection junior Sydney Bregman is on the board for Chabad at Cal Poly and comes in on Fridays to help cook Shabbat dinner and cut the vegetables for the chicken soup.
She says this allows her to connect more with the jewish community at Cal Poly.
“I just wanted to get more involved and thought this was a good way to help out,” Bregman said.
The Hilel family provides many other volunteer and religious services at Chabad for Jewish people of all backgrounds and levels of commitment.