The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

September 14, 2013

Power of the people: Residents come through to fund local community kitchen roof

Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — “To the angels of Palestine and Anderson County,” begins a letter sent to the Palestine Herald-Press this month. “Thank you is not a sufficient enough phrase to express the gratitude of the Stockpot volunteers for the outpouring of concern for repairing the roof at the Stockpot.”

The letter, written by Stockpot Board President and area resident Mary Barnhart, goes on to say, “Our wishes have been fulfilled because of your generous donations. The roof is now in the process of being repaired. The volunteers can concentrate on our mission of feeding Palestine’s hungry.

“Again, our heart-felt thanks, Palestine.”

In early August, First Presbyterian Church officials sent out an SOS via the Herald-Press, that the Stockpot, the area’s only community kitchen, needed its roofed repaired — to the tune of an estimated $20,000. A scant five weeks later, and thanks solely to the donations sent in from its community, the Stockpot now boasts a new lid.

“We were just overwhelmed with the outpouring of help and support,” Barnhart said Thursday. “No matter what it is, Palestine and Anderson County residents are so generous — we are truly blessed. It’s amazing and it proves things are nearly as bad or dreary as the news reports every night.”

The Stockpot has been feeding Palestine’s hungry since 1984 and is a non-profit entity that operates solely on volunteer hours and community and church donations. Church officials report the kitchen serves on average 70 people a day, five days a week. Groups of volunteers from local churches each man the kitchen one day a week.

Anyone interested in donating to the Stockpot can do so by mailing checks, made out to the First Presbyterian Church Stockpot, to 410 Avenue A, Palestine, Texas 75801. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday at the same location. Anyone wanting to donate food items, including homegrown fruits, vegetables or meat, can drop off those donations from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.