FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (UATV)–“We don’t call it a soup kitchen we call it a caring kitchen and it is a joy,” Annette Everett.
Annette Everett is one of the volunteers at the Caring Kitchen, and she has been there for about a year. And it all started when a friend of hers encouraged her to join the M&N Augustine Foundation.
“I just came over to try it out and when I came I fell in love with it and I’ve been doing it ever since,” Everett said.
Everett was in a difficult situation, after volunteering for five months in the kitchen, but she found support from the organization.
“I was short on my rent one month so I just called Joe and I talked to him about it and told him what happened and then he talk to the committee and his father and they helped me out,” Everett said.
Everett said the foundation has also helped her Nephew. After her sister was diagnosed with Cancer she decided to take care of him and the foundation quickly lent a hand.
“If I need something for him you know they would, they’re just good people,” Everett said.
Everett said the foundation is like a family.
The volunteers of this foundation not only get to cook and serve the food. They actually get to sit down and eat with the people that they help.
“It’s important for them to see that the people love and this community love and respect,” Augustine said.
They started the caring kitchen three years ago after Merlin Augustine’s father read about two homeless people, who died of hunger.
“And my father said this should never happen in America, we should never have people on the streets that can’t eat,” Augustine said.
The M&N Augustine Foundation has fed thousands of individuals with the help of their volunteers.
“On Tuesday evenings, we view that as their opportunity to come to a place where they are loved and they’re respected and they’re treated as essentially a paying customer,” Augustine said.
Every single meal is carefully prepared with love, respect and thought.
“We pride ourselves traditionally in the fact that we aren’t going to serve you something we wouldn’t eat our selves,” Augustine said.
But don’t they just give these individuals a meal they give them so much more.
“Can’t tell you why, I just love being here,” Everett said.
Story by UATV Reporter Wendy Echeverria