Thursday, June 10, 2010

St. Mary's Episcopal Church serves its 150,000 guest at kitchen for low-income residents

From Florida-

It wasn’t just the usual food service at Mary’s Kitchen on Wednesday night for Agnes Matecki. She won a gift certificate for being the 150,000th person served since the kitchen opened its doors at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church 16 years ago.

Matecki, who came with her husband Mike Matecki, is a Stuart resident who has been coming for the past two years.

“It’s wonderful, the service people give you. The people are so generous and we’re grateful,” said Agnes Matecki, who won a $150 Publix gift certificate.

Mary’s Kitchen, which serves about 120 people each Wednesday, is a free meal service for low-income people that began in October 1994 after Barbara Hoke Hendry, a church member at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, thought of the idea.

“There was nobody serving Wednesday night back then. It was a rainy night — no advertising, just word of mouth. We served 48 people,” said Dale Hudson, the chairman of Mary’s Kitchen, remembering the first food service.

The program has since grown to a well-oiled operation with about 100 volunteers. Team leaders oversee different aspects of the service, such as volunteers for food preparation, which includes bread slicing and salad preparation, as well as the servers, greeters, dishwashers and even piano players.

More here-

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