Service-learning class helps reopen soup kitchen at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church

Posted on 01 March 2012 by

Tusculum College student Julia Newman prepares garlic toast for a Wednesday meal at the newly reopened Mission Soup Kitchen at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church.

Tusculum College students are helping to reopen the soup kitchen at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in Greeneville.

Students in a service-learning class have been preparing and serving meals on Wednesdays at the Mission Soup Kitchen, a ministry of Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in Greeneville.

The church-run kitchen, under the direction of Anna Maddox, has been serving lunches to those in need on Wednesdays for nearly ten years, but had to close temporarily this winter.

After the service-learning class ends, the operation of the soup kitchen will be coordinated through the college’s Center for Civic Advancement, and manned by student, faculty and staff volunteers, as well as members from local churches and community organizations.

“I am incredibly pleased that Tusculum has the opportunity to serve the community in this way; Mission Soup Kitchen provides an invaluable service to Greeneville” said Rachel Edens, program coordinator at the Center for Civic Advancement, “I look forward to seeing campus and community join together around this project.”

Tusculum College is the recipient of a Sodexo Foundation Hunger and Homelessness Lead Agency grant, which goes to help support the institution’s work in the areas of hunger and food access.

“It’s not every young person who will give time and attention to a selfless cause like fighting hunger” said Robert A. Stern, president, the Sodexo Foundation. “The Sodexo Foundation is proud to encourage those values through grants like this to organizations that are leading anti-hunger projects.”

Jennifer Lawson, left, and Carson Necessary work in the pantry of the Mission Soup Kitchen to organize and inventory the food.

Thus far, the class, taught by Robin Fife, assistant professor of Social Science, has been involved with all aspects of the soup kitchen, including organizing and stocking the food storage area, making repairs and replacing flooring. They have served weekly meals of chili, corn bread and breakfast food items. The menu for Wednesday, Feb. 29, will consist of spaghetti, salad and bread sticks, sweet tea and a dessert.

Students in future service-learning classes will also be involved in the operation of the soup kitchen.

The soup kitchen is located downstairs and in the rear of the Tabernacle Presbyterian church building located at 715 Wesley Ave., and will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Wednesdays.

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