Santa pays a visit to Copperas Cove Soup Kitchen, director hopes for new building
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Santa Claus visited the Copperas Cove Soup Kitchen on Friday to visit with children who came to receive some early Christmas presents.
Patrick Robertson, the soup kitchen director, said that with the help of local individuals and groups, approximately 50 children will have a merrier Christmas.
“We put up a tree and we had angels on the tree, which listed children’s wish for gifts. They put down their gifts, sizes of clothing, and if they needed a coat, hat or gloves,” said Richardson.
Richardson, who is president of the Copperas Cove Rotary Club, also reached out to his club and other locals for assistance.
“Some of the Rotary Club members took some, they gave them to their friends, and so did the Samoan Church from Killen, and Star Group Veterans Helping Veterans also took some names from the tree.”
This year, the numbers of children helped have grown from last year.
“Families will come to the soup kitchen because they know we do this every year,” said Richardson.
Usually, the last weekday before Christmas is when the soup kitchen holds the gift distribution.
This Christmas is likely the last one that the soup kitchen will be in its current location, at 201 N. 1st St., which is Richardson’s wish.
Richardson has operated the soup kitchen for several years at that location, but is actively trying to find a new place for the soup kitchen and has ideas to expand its services to the community.
For the past four months or so, the kitchen has not been serving regular meals Monday through Friday, as had been its practice. Prior to shutting down, it would serve 10-15 individuals lunch and dinner.
Although Richardson isn’t serving meals, he said he will still open up for those in need, to hand out food or even clothing.
“It’s been shut down for about four months. Not really shut down, because I will still open up for individuals to give them things, but I don’t cook or make the whole lunch or dinner spread.”
Richardson had his sights set on another facility, but that didn’t work out.
One of the main reasons he wants to move is space.
“We need something bigger and better, something I can purchase,” said Richardson. “There’s a couple other things that I’d like to do through the soup kitchen. I want to start a drug and alcohol facility, inpatient and outpatient facility.”
The soup kitchen also has a “Blessing Box” outside its doors, which holds canned goods and nonperishable food items, that anyone can access 24 hours a day.