Grace Community Kitchen celebrates 7 years of serving the community

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Published: May. 26, 2022 at 7:03 PM EDT
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - On Thursday, volunteers, officials and community members gathered at the Grace Community Kitchen in Pikeville to celebrate its seven-year anniversary of serving the community.

Although the kitchen officially opened seven years ago, Executive Director Debby Bailey said the church has been serving free meals more than 10 years prior on holidays like Easter and Christmas, and through time, hard work and guidance from the Lord, the kitchen was born and started serving meals more frequently.

“We have seen it grow and expand,” said Bailey. “We just know this is the way that the Lord is just blessing us because he is leading the way.”

Grace Community Kitchen now serves meals twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and has grown even through the pandemic. In 2021, Bailey said the kitchen served nearly 14,000 meals.

“Really, for us, COVID is what opened the doors for us to serve our community more,” said Bailey. “The food was one of those things that was able to continue, that was an essential need, and so we’ve never had to shut our doors.”

The kitchen served more than 300 meals on Thursday, and Bailey said it is all about sharing the love of Christ by meeting a need within the community.

“The best way to do that is not just to tell them, but to show them, and to be here and welcome them with open arms and a smile on our faces,” said Bailey. “By saying ‘we love you, the Lord loves you, come on in and eat’, we don’t check anything at the door, we just say come in, you’re welcomed, we love you... and we’ll feed you.”

Bailey also said she and the volunteers hope the community kitchen can continue to serve for many years to come.

“We just know that we’re here, we want to serve our community,” said Bailey, “we have the heart to do it, and if people can partner with us to help us to financially do it, then we’ll continue to do it as long as we possibly can.”

To find out more about the Grace Community Kitchen, find out how to help, browse future events or reach out if you are in need, visit the kitchen’s Facebook page.

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