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Morgantown Community Kitchen at Trinity Episcopal provides hot meals Monday-Friday

Through the red doors of the Trinity Episcopal Church, Morgantown Community Kitchen aims to feed those who need a hot meal in a safe environment.

The kitchen was started in 1984 by a group of six churches downtown.

Jim Chapman, the kitchen manager, said the number one thing the community kitchen does is provide good, hearty, nourishing meals.

“It’s not just soup and sandwiches. … We serve pork loins. We serve pork chops. We do spaghetti. We do beef tips. Whatever’s donated to us,” he said.

Chapman said the kitchen volunteers served a beautiful Thanksgiving meal with nine turkeys.

On Friday, they’ll be doing a Christmas dinner with ham and all the trimmings.

The kitchen in the church might be small, but it provides Chapman and his volunteers exactly what they need.

“We provide about 100 meals a day, and that’s Monday through Friday,” he said.

Chapman is certified through the Monongalia County Health Department. Food is served through a window and clients come in and receive their lunch.

Giant Eagle often donates cookies and cakes. Panera Bread also lends a hand. Clients can take extra food that won’t be used for cooking to hold them over until their next meal.

On New Year’s Eve, clients will receive a to-go bag.

“No one fed the Friday after Thanksgiving. We gave to-go bags,” he said.

Chapman has been the kitchen manager since October; however, the whole operation revolves around volunteers. Chapman said he loves going to work and doing his job because of his volunteers.”

“What we really want to let people know is that we are still here,” he said.

After hot meals are prepared, lunch starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. If Monongalia County Schools are closed, lunch will not be provided.

“Anytime anybody wants to donate to us, we’re willing to take donations. Especially like canned and dried foods,” he said.

Anybody is welcome to a meal. Chapman said his goal would be to provide more for more people.

“Instead of 100 meals a day we could provide 150, 120. Then we’re touching more people,” he said.

Chapman, who knows many of the people he serves by name, credits his love for his job from his love for his volunteers and the sense of accomplishment by the end of the day.

“Every day when I go home, I feel like I’ve done something good for somebody,” he said.

Chapman said he tells his wife all the time working for the Morgantown Community Kitchen is the second-best job he’s had, behind serving in the U.S. Army.

Chapman said anybody who wants to lend their time can walk through the door around 9 a.m. any given day and he’ll put them to work.

“Any time anybody wants to volunteer, I just tell them to come through the door and see me. I’m always happy to have the help,” he said.

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