By Marilyn Freese
I walk in.....It's warm when it's cold outside; cool when it's hot. It's a place of comfort. I see heads bent in busy conversation or eagerly eating. The place is abuzz! It's bright; it's light. I'm in a place I love to go: the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen.
I go every Thursday I am able. I love the people I work with and the guests we serve. The guests seem happy to be there. Some come and efficiently finish their meal and leave, but there are others who come early and stay late. They not only find food for their bodies but food for their souls. That "soul food" comes in the form of easy and safe social activity with folks they are comfortable being around and with sharing their day's, week's activity. There's Darrell, a man of numbers, who reminds us weekly of how many days to his birthday; how many days until Thanksgiving, Christmas. He spends time visiting with the kitchen helpers when he's finally finished eating. And then there's Elmer who is eager to help with the clean-up. I'm never quite sure what he's saying but he's surely enthusiastic and feels he is really helping to do his part to keep the Soup Kitchen clean-up efficient and quick. And just as quickly as he appears, he's gone again. I say he is like a phantom. There are so many interesting guests too numerous to mention in a short article. Lovely folks, all.
I could wax on and on about the people who work in the kitchen but suffice to say, they are kind, hardworking, and a whole lot of FUN. They steadfastly come early and prepare the lunchtime meal—always lovingly prepared. Angels of the kitchen whether they are cooking, cleaning, filling trays, or serving the guests in the dining room.
I know, being one of the cleaners, that I am helped and am fed as much as, if not more than, those who are our guests. It's that "soul food" kind of thing. God Bless all those at the Soup Kitchen. And congratulations on 10 wonderful years!!!