Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Adventure Continues

The soup kitchen reached two milestones on Tuesday.

Volunteers served 117 lunches. A new record, according to Deacon Gil Nadeau.

And they pressed into service a new walk-in freezer, just as an upright unit and a chest freezer both failed. Talk about timing!

The walk-in unit was made possible by a $9,899 grant from The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Inc., and its Richard W. Couper Memorial Fund and Leroy and Hazel Scheidelman Fund.

Regarding the record number of guests, Deacon Gil noted: “They’re coming (because) they like the food. It’s good food.”

“They like the soup,” said volunteer Jim Caldwell.

“Everyday we’re seeing new faces,” added volunteer-supervisor Joanne Lockwood.

On Wednesday they served 96 meals, and among the volunteers were three young girls, busily sweeping the carpet, prepping trays, or helping moms with infants and strollers.

MacKenzie DeRyder, already a veteran volunteer at the age of 9, is quick to help out everywhere, but especially likes “bringing trays into the kitchen.”

Samantha Mussatto, 10, and her sister, Amanda, 7, were back. The pair accompanied their grandmother, Diane Hnat, SFO, when their school was on spring break in April. They came all the way from New Hampshire. Now that they are visiting grandma during summer vacation, they are coming to the soup kitchen a couple of days a week. The sisters are avid readers, bringing their books everywhere, but Wednesday they were too busy to immerse themselves in an imaginary tale.

“It’s great!” Amanda said.