“This is a special place they have here,” said Sarah, 69, as she sat down at a table with some fellow neighbors at the Henderson Community Soup Kitchen. “You always feel welcome.”
Sarah and about 100 other Chester County residents, have gathered at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee Partner Agency, to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal of sliced turkey, ham, and all of the fixings.
“We shave a lot of neighbors that are struggling, and the holidays can be an especially hard time,” said Christie Pennington, the soup kitchen’s founder and director. A local school teacher, Christie has seen first-hand the need her in community and felt a special calling to open the soup kitchen.
“God laid this on my heart,” she said, “and at first I didn’t think I was the one to do it. I had never cooked for this many people at once, and honestly, I don’t really like cooking, but God had other plans.”
Nearly five years later the Henderson Community Soup Kitchen has become a place of nourishment and fellowship for anyone in need of warm meal.
“We have meals on Wednesday nights and Saturdays during the day,” said Christie. “Our volunteers work hard to create some really delicious meals with what we have on hand.”
In addition, the Partner Agency holds Mobile Food Pantries once a quarter and has created on onsite food pantry for anyone who needs some pantry stables.
“We want to be a place where people can come and feel comfortable getting the help they need, especially during the holidays,” said Christie.
For Sarah, recently widowed and living on a limited fixed income, the soup kitchen has become much more.
“They are my second family,” she said. “This takes me back to the meals that I used to cook during the holidays, but I can’t do that anymore, because it is just me.”
Thanks to your support, Second Harvest Partner Agencies are able to provide food to the children, families, and seniors facing hunger in Middle and West Tennessee. Help us ensure that no one will go hungry this holiday season.