TLC Community Center to launch soup kitchen

Published 11:14 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Star Photo/Abby Morris-Frye  TLC Community Center Director Angie Odom, at left, and volunteer Roxanne Smith, at right, are ready to begin work for the Center's newest project — a community soup kitchen.

Star Photo/Abby Morris-Frye
TLC Community Center Director Angie Odom, at left, and volunteer Roxanne Smith, at right, are ready to begin work for the Center’s newest project — a community soup kitchen.

Starting later this month, the TLC Community Center will be launching a free community soup kitchen for residents in need.
TLC Community Center Director Angie Odom said the Center is seeing an increase in the number of families in the community dealing with issues of hunger and food insecurity.
“More and more of them are asking us for food,” Odom said of the Center’s clients.
Sometimes there are items at the Center that the volunteers can give to the clients but the majority of the time they have to refer those individuals to other community support services or local churches that operate food banks. Odom said while that helps, she would like to be able to provide them with a hot meal.
“Carter County does not have a soup kitchen that serves hot meals, so we are going to step up to the plate,” Odom said. “We already have the kitchen and commercial license needed. We are already listed and inspected by the Health Department as a soup kitchen.”
During the summer months, the TLC Community Center operates its Summer Food Program from the kitchen as well as the Community Holiday Meal each year before Christmas. Also, each Saturday of the month Food For The Multitude provides free hot meals to the community from the Center’s kitchen.
The Center will be starting slow with the Soup Kitchen, to see what the interest is and to insure the Center can secure the volunteers and donations needed to operate it.
Beginning on Jan. 24, the TLC Community Center will provide a free meal to those in need at the Center from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The soup kitchen will be a dine-in only operation, Odom said.
“We’re going to be doing simple things like soups and sandwiches to start with,” Odom said. “We would also like to welcome those who would like to come by and eat and donate to the cause.”
“We are also going to be reaching out to those in our community who are homeless or displaced and try to make sure their needs are met as well,” she added.
Odom selected Tuesdays as the day for the soup kitchen because many of the Center’s clients are already visiting the Center to participate in programs on that day.
“Once we have enough volunteers and funding to cover costs, we will add Thursdays,” Odom said. “Our goal is to serve free hot meals every weekday.”
Right now Odom and the Center are looking for local churches, civic groups, individuals, businesses, or restaurants who would like to assist in providing a Tuesday meal on a rotating basis. The Center will also accept financial donations to contribute to the cost of the program.
Odom said the Center is also seeking volunteers to assist with cooking, serving and cleaning as well. Among the list of items needed for the new soup kitchen are: paper plates, paper bowls, paper cups, napkins, spoons, forks, boxes of crackers, packs of sliced cheese, and condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard.
For more information on the new soup kitchen program, to make a donation, to find out how you can help or to sign up to volunteer, contact Angie Odom at 423-895-8601 or visit the TLC Community Center Facebook page and send them a message.