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LOVE's Kitchen, doubles number meals served

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
March 31, 2004
LOVE's Kitchen is growing rapidly.
The Lauderdale Outreach Volunteer Effort Inc., a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to feeding hungry people in Meridian and Lauderdale County, has increased the number of meals it serves every day from about 400 to 700.
Jennie Gaither, LOVE's Kitchen director, said the increase happened after December. She attributes it to attention focused on the charity's plans to move to a new building, more inter-service cooperation and more referrals from other agencies and churches.
With more food going out, Gaither said, LOVE's Kitchen needs more food coming in.
Ruth Vinson Irwin, chairman of publicity for LOVE's Kitchen, said the organization's building committee is hoping to add space to its new building plans because of the increase in the number of meals served.
Ground was broken for the new building in December on surplus property donated by the city of Meridian on 18th Avenue along Sowashee Creek.
The total cost of the new building has been estimated at about $343,000. More than $180,000 has been contributed by builders and contractors. The Meridian Home Builders Association contributed $10,500 in October after its annual golf tournament and about $80,000 has been donated through community efforts.
Irwin said the Meridian Rotary Club is planning a fund-raiser for the building.
Founded in 1983, LOVE's Kitchen is supported by churches, synagogues, other non-profit organizations and the community. It is currently located on the grounds of St. Joseph Catholic Church at 1914 18th Ave. LOVE's Kitchen serves breakfast from 8 a.m.-9 a.m. and lunch from noon-1 p.m. Monday-Saturday.