Copperas Cove Soup Kitchen serving meals at Fairview Community Church
By PAMELA GRANT
The Copperas Cove Soup Kitchen is up and running with the help of the Fairview Community Church on 1202 Veterans Ave.
The church previously served meals every Wednesday for the last 20+ years. Now, with the help of Soup Kitchen volunteers, they are able to serve church fellowship meals Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“It’s open to everybody, especially the homeless and needy,” said Fairview Community Church Pastor Mike Harrigan. “Feeding the hungry—that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Pastor Harrigan said that they are looking to try to get their programs back up and running to help the community. He said that he’s been trying to team up with the Soup Kitchen for a long time. The church also has a clothing closet and some household goods that they give out to those in need. They are always looking for any donations; monetary, food, clothing, etc.
“Feeding the hungry is one of the most important things we can do as Christian members of the community,” said Pastor Harrigan. “We try to do the things Jesus told us to do. He told us to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, minister to the sick, and visit the prison.”
Terri Deans, the soup kitchen’s meal director, said that they try to make their meals with the freshest ingredients available to them, and they check carefully to make sure that nothing is expired.
They use some of the food donated by members of the church supplemented with food from the Central Texas Food Bank and Baptist Benevolence food pantry.
“We prepare our meals based on the available ingredients,” said Deans.
For example, Wednesday’s lunch included jambalaya with bread and green beans. “We try to cook like we’re cooking for our families,” said Deans.
“I like it because I don’t have a lot of funds to eat,” said Sedrick Hopkins who enjoyed the jambalaya. “I really appreciate coming here.”
Deans said that she tries to help out as much as she can because she understands what it is like to be suddenly homeless.
“There’s an understanding of how life circumstances can change—like that,” said Deans, punctuating her statement with a snap. “For a lot of people, they have no control over those life circumstances.”
Deans said that many years ago, she, her husband, and their two daughters suddenly became homeless. They lived in their van in a K-Mart parking lot, and it was through the help of some churches that they were able to get back on their feet.
“At that time, you don’t really eat very well, so we understand the importance of people feeling safe and having a nice, warm meal,” said Deans. “A lot of your problems—I’m saying you generically—can be handled if your body isn’t craving food. If you’re hungry, that’s the only thing that you can think about. So having your body nourished helps you to focus on the things you need to get done for yourself and for your family.”
Deans said that ever since she retired, she wanted to support the Soup Kitchen and other organizations like it.
To help make their Soup Kitchen more successful, they are looking for volunteers interested in cleaning, serving, helping in the kitchen, and supervising. Please note that you can only prepare food if you have a food handlers’ certificate. They are primarily looking for volunteers that can help with cleaning up after each meal is served.
“Just cleaning is helpful,” said Deans. “We really need people who are willing to get their hands dirty.”
They log volunteer hours, so volunteering will help anyone looking to log a certain number of community service hours as well.
Those interested in learning more about the Soup Kitchen or volunteering with/helping the Soup Kitchen/Fairview Community Church can send an email to Pastor Harrigan at Michael.email@example.com
The Soup Kitchen and Fairview Community Church are holding a Christmas Dinner and Gift Giveaway on December 21 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.