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Lord’s Kitchen serves up hot meals and inspiration to homeless in Marysville and Arlington
MARYSVILLE — Every Wednesday, from noon to 3 p.m., a small white truck serving hot meals can be found parked outside the Victory Foursquare Church on State Avenue.
It’s just one of the three weekly stops made by the Lord’s Kitchen, a mobile food kitchen for the homeless that also visits the Smokey Point Community Church, Mondays, from 4-7 p.m. and the Lake Ki RV Resort in Arlington, Saturdays, from 2-5 p.m.
Rick Ver Heul relies on volunteers and donations to supplement the out-of-pocket costs he covers himself. The truck and trailer that serve as the group’s kitchen facility on wheels took close to a year to be upgraded from their “rust bucket” status, as Ver Heul described them. Lengthy prep times have remained part of his schedule, since to get the Wednesday meal ready to serve by noon, he and his crew have to start cooking shortly after 6 a.m.
“Our first meal, we served 15 people,” said Ver Heul, who counted more than 500 attendees at the Victory Foursquare Church during one of his meals near the end of July. “It’s getting worse. There are middle-class folks who have lost their houses and are living in camper trailers and tents. There are entire families who are living out of their cars and pickup trucks. I wish I could say it was getting better. I’d love it if the economy could improve enough to put me out of business.”
Ver Heul and his volunteers dish out hot dogs, soup, chips, soda and baked potatoes, and his only requirement for those who wish to be fed is that they have hungry stomachs.
“Some guys come in and take four or five baked potatoes, because it’s the only meal they’ll get until they see us again,” Ver Heul said.
Dave Wood helps out at the Lord’s Kitchen whenever he can, from setting up before to cleaning up afterward. For him, the group’s mission of repaying society for their own relative good fortune is not merely academic, since he was a homeless unemployed construction worker who benefited from their meals.
“A year after I had back surgery in 2007, I was laid off and haven’t been able to work since,” said Wood, who’s also entering into rehab for a long-running meth addiction on Oct. 27. “I want to give back what was given to me. These people do this from their hearts. I’m forever in their debt.”
Wood credited Ver Heul with finding him lodging at the Lake Ki RV Resort and inspiring him to go back to church.
For more information or to donate online, you can log onto the Lord’s Kitchen website at www.lordskitchen.org. A dinner and music night benefit for the group is set for Oct. 29 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Victory Foursquare Church.