Our view: Christ's Kitchen deserves community's thanks
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Since a group of Methodist women, with encouragement from similar groups from other churches, took on the challenge of feeding Victoria's hungry 25 years ago, Christ's Kitchen has dished out more than 1.5 million meals.
Those first humble meals of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, a banana, and a carton of milk to three men have been supplanted by hot, well-rounded offerings to sometimes 200 or more people a day.
The philosophy continues to be if someone walks through the door and wants a meal, he eats. No questions asked.
And it's all done by volunteers, without a dime of government assistance or even United Way funds. Christ's Kitchen has no paid employees. During the years, thousands of volunteers have given their time to keep the meals prepared and served.
Area grocery stores, restaurants, wholesalers and private caterers also chip in with food donations.
"God takes care of us," as cur rent chairman of the board of directors Bob Redding put it.
He cited an example of a couple who came in wanting to donate to the kitchen.
"How can we help?" they asked.
The electric bill of more than $700 was due. The couple took care of it and more.
In recent years, two longtime directors, Truett Crouch (2008) and Iris Baillio (2009), both passed away. The two epitomized the devotion and dedication that thousands of volunteers during the years have shown for the work done at Christ's Kitchen.
Some of the volunteers have been on board since just after the kitchen opened its doors in the former Mt. Nebo Church building on March 18, 1985 - in food preparation, on the serving line, on the board of directors, and doing whatever else needs to be done.
They are keeping Crouch's and Baillio's memories alive through their work at Christ's Kitchen.
We applaud those volunteers' efforts and sacrifices.
Christ's Kitchen is truly one of God's miracles on Earth.