Marcella's Kitchen Continues Serving Community
By Cynthia Howe
MARSHALL COUNTY - The COVID-19 outbreak isn't stopping one local food kitchen from continuing its mission.

Marcella's Kitchen in Benton, founded by Marcella Perkins, has been providing meals for the community since 2011. Perkins says she got the idea to open Marcella's when she worked for the Community Kitchen in Paducah.

"During that time I got to wondering if Marshall County needed a place like this," said Perkins. "With lots of prayer, lots of research, and lots of people getting hold of the idea, it became a reality in May of 2011."

The operation has grown and changed over the last 9 years. When Marcella's Kitchen opened, they were serving around 35 meals each day. A new building opened in May of last year, and Marcella's started delivering meals for the homebound in August. Volunteers are currently serving around 200 meals each day, with about 90 of those being delivered. Perkins said she's not sure of the total number of volunteers she has, but that she believes it is somewhere between 170 and 190 people. Kitchen volunteers work in teams of about 11 people, and each team works once every two weeks. There are also volunteers needed to deliver meals each day.
Perkins says it's about more than just the food.

"When they can come into the dining room, they have fellowship with each other, and fellowship with the volunteers. The volunteers are kind of like neat little families."

For now, the dining room has closed, but that's not stopping volunteers from providing meals to those in need. Marcella's is temporarily operating on a "drive-up" basis. Anyone wanting a meal can pull up in front of the building located on Guy Mathis Drive between 11 am and 1 pm Monday through Friday, and a volunteer will bring meals to the vehicle.

The equipment they have been using to prepare meals for delivery is now serving another purpose.  All meals are placed in special trays and sealed, much like a frozen dinner.

"Those are a little bit more expensive,but the main thing is that we're still able to do this for our friends in Marshall County," Perkins said. "I don't want anybody to go hungry in Marshall County. I don't want anybody to be lonely, and I pray that we'll be able to open our dining room up soon where they can start fellowshipping again."

Perkins expects the number of meals being served to continue to rise in the next few weeks and said financial donations or more volunteers are always welcome and needed.

Anyone interested in volunteering can come by Marcella's Kitchen to pick up a volunteer form, or you can call Marcella directly at 270-705-3402.

Financial donations can be mailed to Marcella's Kitchen, PO Box 272, Benton, KY 42025.

Published 10:14 PM, Wednesday Mar. 25, 2020
Updated 06:27 PM, Thursday Mar. 26, 2020



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