This story has been updated to correct a name misspelling. The Express-Star regrets the error.
The Chickasha Soup Kitchen will serve its first meal to hungry residents on Sept. 30 at noon at the Resurrection House.
The Chickasha Soup Kitchen Board has hit the ground running since the kitchen area at the Resurrection House passed the city's code inspection on Monday, Steve Taylor, Communications Representative, said.
The soup kitchen will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon each week. The first meal will be spaghetti. There will be a different menu each day, served by volunteers.
"I'm excited to see all the many different facets come together for the hungry of Chickasha," Rev. Michael Oberlender, of First Christian Church, said.
About a year ago, Oberlender contacted other churches to discuss what could be done to help the hungry in Chickasha.
Oberlender said he is happy to see the ecumenical movement in action. The ecumenical movement brings together different denominations and faiths together, sometimes to fight for a cause such as poverty.
For some time, First Christian Church had a placed a cooler outside the church full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a sign offering one to hungry passersby. They called this their "peanut butter and jelly ministry." After seeing more and more sandwiches taken, Oberlender wanted to do more to help the hungry in the community.
There are plenty of opportunities open to civic groups, organizations and individuals or groups of friends who want to volunteer their time preparing and serving food, Taylor said. There has already been interest from churches, Grady County 4H and a Girl Scout Troop from Alex, he said.
Gayle Chiles, Volunteer Coordinator, said the goal is to have a different group work one day each month. There will be four to five people per group, but a large group could be split to serve on different days. Individuals will be placed with a group.
Those who want to volunteer may call Chiles at St. Lukes Episcopalian Church at 405-222-1296. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon on Friday. Volunteers may also leave a message.
Taylor said the board is grateful for the numerous generous donations from individuals—many anonymous—that have made the initiation of the Chickasha Soup Kitchen possible.
Oberlender said the Chickasha Soup Kitchen is very grateful to the community and to the Resurrection House for hosting the program.
Those who want to donate to the Chickasha Soup Kitchen may do so via Paypal at chickashasoupkitchen.org or mailing a donation to: Chickasha Soup Kitchen, P.O. Box 50, Chickasha, OK, 73023. All donations are tax deductible. Chickasha Soup Kitchen is a 501 (c ) 3 nonprofit organization.
The Chickasha Soup Kitchen is also willing to accept nonperishable donations, or those that do not require refrigeration, such as bread, from restaurants. At this time, the soup kitchen has limited refrigerator space.
The Chickasha Soup Kitchen aims to have its own location one day, ideally in Chickasha's downtown area. The board is interested in keeping the location within walking distance of areas most impacted by food insecurity.
At some point, Taylor said he hopes the Chickasha Soup Kitchen will be open five days a week.
"Hunger does not take a holiday, it does not take a day off," he said.
Questions about Chickasha Soup Kitchen may be submitted through their website, Facebook, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 405-224-6372.