The Stock Pot, a Palestine soup kitchen that has fed the hungry for over 20 years, continues to do so two decades later through assistance from volunteers, local businesses, churches and more.
Housed in a former school kitchen and cafeteria building now owned by the First Presbyterian Church on Avenue A, The Stock Pot serves anywhere from 60 to over 100 lunches in a given day Monday through Friday.
A different team, usually made up of a church group, mans the kitchen each day; and particularly in the summer months, volunteer youth groups are often found helping out as well.
Volunteer Millie Baur has been helping out at the Stock Pot for over four years now, stating that she was “hooked” on the experience from her first day.
“I did marketing before I retired, so love people and I love talking to people,” she said. “I love the people here — serving and working with everybody.”
With a new season, comes different kinds of needs in the kitchen, Baur said.
“One of our greatest needs right now is air conditioning,” she said. “Our kitchen is not air conditioned and is very hot when ovens are on, so we serve more salads, sandwiches and soups in the summer.
“We could use another window AC unit and three to four box or oscillating fans to pull cool air in from the dining area.”
All food type donations are welcome at the Stock Pot, particularly prepared meats, grated cheese (for a favorite meal, chili dogs), canned tuna, lunch meat and desserts. Paper products such as paper towels and styrofoam cups also are needed.
“We get a lot of groceries and produce donations from local grocers and purchase day-old bread,” Baur said. “Several local restaurants, including Bishop’s Barbecue, Bella Sera Ranch and Dogwood Diner and others often donate food to us.”
“Nothing donated goes to waste,” she added. “Anything is welcomed.”
Monetary donations and volunteers are always welcomed at The Stock Pot too.
“We want to thank the many churches and individuals for all that they do — those individuals that help from time to time,” Baur said. “Thanks to the young ladies from Grace Bible Church who helped us one Monday and to the four young men who surprised us another Monday and stayed to help until after closing time.”
The Stock Pot is open from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday at the First Presbyterian Church Annex. To donate money, food or to volunteer call Lori at 903-729-3741 or Jerry Thompson at 903-720-1826.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org