PORTLAND, Ore. -- A simple idea serves up important results for teens struggling to survive.

A new soup cart on the Urban Plaza at Portland State is giving coworkers Dorian and John vital job skills.

With each cup served they’re a step closer to independence,

“This is all through New Avenues for Youth,” explained John. “They’re also helping me to find an apartment.”

The soup cart serves the product of locally owned Heritage Specialty Foods in Northeast Portland.

“We wanted to help promote the cause of teaching kids how to make a living for themselves,” said owner Lori Hendren.

For $5, customers choose from four soups on the menu paired with a fresh roll.

“We’re really going for friendly service,” said Dorian. “We’re getting more customers every day.”

The soup cart is the latest addition to New Avenues social enterprises program.

“We have opportunities in place with Ben & Jerry’s and a screen printing company. This will help even more young people,” said Executive Director Sean Suib.

New Avenues is planning three additional carts in the metro area, where a warm bowl of soup supports a good cause,

“I wouldn’t be able to stay in Portland without the help of New Avenues,” said Dorian.

“I’ve found confidence here,” said John.

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