MOUNDSVILLE - Feeding the hungry often is associated with the holidays and the winter season, but volunteers at the Community Kitchen at Simpson United Methodist Church are seeing increasing numbers of patrons in the food line this summer.
"There is a huge need," volunteer Bobbie Eddy said. "I didn't realize there was that big of a need here. The numbers are a little greater now that it's hot."
With school out for the summer, more families are coming into the church for meals since children are not receiving free breakfast and lunch in public schools. Eddy said about 140 people arrive each day for lunch and sometimes a take-home meal for dinner.
Photo by Sarah Harmon
Volunteers Bobbie Eddy, left, and Betsy Kelley serve lunch at Community Kitchen at Simpson United Methodist Church in Moundsville.
The Community Kitchen originally was located in the Ash Avenue Church of God until the response became so great it outgrew the church's facilities. The kitchen opened at Simpson Church in April 2012 and is now a collaboration among several churches in the community.
The kitchen serves a hot lunch 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday each week with food from the Mountaineer Food Bank. Everybody who comes in is served, and to-go meals can be taken to shut-ins and others who cannot leave their homes. Volunteer Sharon Coulson estimated the kitchen serves about 2,000 a people a month and may be the only "soup kitchen" in Marshall County.
Volunteer Betsy Kelley said the kitchen serves many single, elderly people who are not able to cook anymore. Coming to the kitchen is an opportunity to have conversation and get some relief from loneliness.
"It's very rewarding," Eddy said. "You're giving back. I figure the Lord has provided for us and we can give back."
For more information, call Sandy Yoho at 304-780-7266; Simpson Church can be reached at 304-845-5080.