Yesterday, I showed up at the Hyde Park Seventh Day Adventist Church Soup Kitchen. They serve hot meals every Wednesday afternoon and the 2nd & 4th Friday afternoons.
I was greeted by Vickie Wilson and started by donning an apron, hair net and washing my hands. The meal was turkey meatloaf, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, salad and dessert. Ms Wilson was busy making the meatloaf, and three of us started out by setting up the tables with a napkin, fork, packet of salt and a Styrofoam cup.
Next, I helped wash the bowls and utensils she had used to prepare the meatloaf. Then I went to the pantry to find the instant potatoes and helped with the other ingredients.
About 15 minutes to noon things went into high gear, dressing the salad, making the gravy, cutting the meatloaf into serving sizes, mixing the mashed potatoes, and prepping the sweets for dessert.
The clients have to sign in with their first names only and are offered a sanitizing wipe to clean their hands. This neighborhood is extremely economically depressed with a high crime rate. They all looked financially distressed, but had good spirits and were joking with one another.
I stayed in the kitchen scooping potatoes or salad onto the plates. Servers bring out the food to each person and pour them juice. In all about 55 people showed up for lunch.
The most of the other volunteers were from the Church and were friendly. One who everyone called Auntie made a nice lemon cake that we tried after all was cleaned up.
This is number ten, just 40 more to go.