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7/22/2013 6:00:00 AM
Soup kitchen idea unfolds into 'something grand' for downtown Kingman
Group from St. Mary begins planning for three-phase project

Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - When four members of St. Mary Roman Catholic Church got the same idea for a downtown soup kitchen at the same time last year, they knew it was God prompting them to put their idea into practice.

"It's odd how it happened," said Tom Curtis, founder of the church's Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Society. "I was talking to a church member who was involved in feeding the homeless at Thanksgiving, and he said another member had a soup kitchen project in mind. I had founded the society and was looking for something to do with it, and everywhere I went people were talking to me about feeding the homeless. This has unfolded into something grand. There's such a need for this project and spiritually, people are hungry to help with it."

Those two members, Jerry Carreiro and David Hunter, also talked to Karen Manion, who had the same idea and is a two-year volunteer at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which is affiliated with the church and provides a variety of services to the needy, from furniture to help paying utility bills. The society, located at 218 E. Beale St., also offers sack lunches downtown four times a week. Curtis and Carriero also volunteer at the facility.

The four and a small group of interested participants met Wednesday at St. Mary for the first time to create teams to oversee the soup kitchen, which will be expanded in three phases.

The Mohave County Board of Health recently inspected the kitchen, located in the hall across the street from the church, and provided a list of changes that must be made before the group, which calls itself Our Daily Bread, can begin operations.

The list includes a commercial freezer, an electrical upgrade, stainless steel countertops and two sinks, which Hunter said will be added soon to accommodate the first phase of the project. Beginning in late August, the group plans to make 100 sandwiches twice a week and freeze them until they are delivered to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for distribution each day.

The second phase consists of adding healthy snack foods and drinks to the lunches and will call for the addition of a commercial refrigerator.

Finally, as winter begins to set in, the group will add a commercial stove and hood to vent smoke in order to serve hot meals to the needy. Hunter said he hopes to transfer feeding operations to the hall at that time and provide a sack lunch and a hot meal daily. He expects the kitchen to receive its health permit in about six weeks.

"We all want this," said Manion. "The city has Cornerstone Mission, but so many of the people we serve downtown live in this area and have no transportation, so they can't get there for meals. And we can't afford to buy bus tickets for them. We have a serious need for a soup kitchen right here. It's an absolute necessity."

Manion said the Society of St. Vincent de Paul hands out about 20 pre-packaged lunches on each of the four days it is open weekly. Also, said Manion, the nearby Salvation Army provides two meals a week. But neither meets the growing need among the homeless and low-income residents in the downtown area, she added.

Troy Palmer, director of the service center at the Salvation Army, said the agency provides a hot breakfast on Tuesday mornings and a hot lunch on Thursday afternoons. Palmer said another source of food for the needy would be a welcome addition to the downtown area. The Salvation Army, 309 E. Beale St., feeds about 30 guests at each meal.

"There's absolutely a need," said Palmer. "Cornerstone Mission is so far removed from here and is a long walk for those coming from I-40 and U.S. 93. The need downtown is very great. Another soup kitchen would be a great help and greatly appreciated."

In 2012, Cornerstone Mission served 18,849 meals and gave out 683 food boxes. It is located at 3049 Sycamore Ave., near Andy Devine and Airway avenues.

At the St. Mary meeting Wednesday, participants signed up as co-chairmen for equipping the kitchen, food distribution in Kingman and outlying areas, meal planning, food preparation, and procuring food and money donations. The group will meet again at 6 p.m. Aug. 6 at the church hall and interested participants are invited to attend.

"We've been trying to put together a soup kitchen for over a year," said Carreiro, a volunteer at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for five years. "We know the need is great in the downtown community. It would be so beneficial for them to be able to eat a good meal every day."

The Rev. Matthew Krempel of St. Mary said the group is taking it slowly, starting with sandwiches for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, to see how the process goes and what direction it will take. The church is getting ready to build a 6,500-square-foot building connecting two chapels, one built in 1967 and the other crafted in 1906, because of its expanding congregation.

"There's definitely a need downtown," said Krempel. "We base what we're doing on the 25th chapter of Matthew in the Bible, where Jesus says what was done to the least of the brethren was done to him. That sums up our purpose and mandate in the community."

Hunter said he hopes other churches, agencies and businesses in the community will band together with the group to feed the hungry. Hunter, who is retired, has run a food bank in California and is rehabbing dilapidated homes in Kingman to rent them at low cost to the needy. Also, he takes groups to Mexico to build churches, rectories and schools.

"This is doable and it's going to happen," said Hunter. "I've heard there are people in the area who live in their cars and in garages. There are those on fixed incomes who can't afford food. We want to help. We're leaving this soup kitchen in God's hands, which means we don't have to worry about how it will happen. It's all about faith."

For more information or to donate food or money, email or call (928) 303-5928.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: Add to Comments

To the ones in the miner that keeps overlooking my post: I will keep sending this post until its entered into the comments! Admin: And we will keep deleting it. The post exceeds the 200-word limit.

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: Tammy Carter

I'm headed down that way to see if I can help. I figure that sitting around complaining about helping the homeless ,whom are all my brothers and sisters, is the furthest thing from a solution I can think of. One last thing I have to say, I'd rather walk through the darkness with God than through the light with man.

Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Article comment by: KDM online reader

Sure, it is morally responsible for private and public services to care for the poor and others in need, great, but why do all such services always need to be located in the Downtown Historic District. That should not always be the default location for crying out loud!

How about putting in a soup kitchen or other homeless shelter next to Wal-Mart for example. Seriously. After all, the Kathryn Heidenreich Adult Center is already there and the Cornerstone Mission is located about mile away, two such examples that establish a precedent elsewhere than downtown Kingman!

Yes of course there will be objections next to Wal-Mart, and I will even go father by proposing a soup kitchen and other social service agencies to be located near any other upper-class neighborhood in Kingman.

What say you so-called bleeding heart rich liberals say to that proposal?

Can't wait to hear the double standard hypocrisy

Posted: Saturday, July 27, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous aqnonymous

Just Amazing is a good name for this unknown person who gives no name, address but advises others to do what all security experts tell one not to do is post personal information on line for the internet hackers, identity thieves to gain access to, seems either one is more concerned about property values than human beings tells a lot about someone, but the kettle calling the pot black is amusing as well as amazing!

Posted: Friday, July 26, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Curtis

I would like thank the people for providing input, im sorry some of you do feel the needs of the less fortunate can be met while protecting the interest of the business and property owners downtown. i would like to point out this is going to be several blocks off of beale and a block form the court house, welfare office, american legion, and many other commercial properties. im sure we can work it so the needs are met and minimal impact if any on the area. my contact info is provided in this article and i welcome anyone to contact for any reason, questions, comments, requests for help, request for help for others, any reason at all. id like to invite the supporters of this to please try to attend the next meeting and meet us. if you have questions or concerns please stop by the meeting as well. God love you and peace be to you... Tom

Posted: Friday, July 26, 2013
Article comment by: Shame On You

These people who are trying to start the Soup Kitchen ARE action ... and not just talk. They don't put on a false look to impress you or anybody else. Instead, they are building up treasures in heaven by helping those less fortunate. And the ultimate judge of who is truly needy is God, not you and not me. Sorry that some of you have your priorities backwards.

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013
Article comment by: Jack a Lope

im not sure what my word count was but i dont think is was near as long as some of these.

blunt summary.

I am from a town that has always helped.

I am ashamed to be from a town that has posted the comments on here.

the fella, im not going to take the time to track it down, who quoted God or the bible saying god helps those who help themselves,..... please show me where it says that.
BTW "ive always just heard that" is not a legit answer. book chapter verse, please.

miner, if you could email me my post i would be happy to edit it, also let me know the max word count.

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013
Article comment by: Just Amazing

@ Shame on You...
If you don't want to have pride in the way this town looks that's fine. But others do.
So if you would rather "be good" than "look good" maybe you can live by what you preach and post your address so all of these homeless people can store their belongings in your yard, because who cares how it looks, right?
That would show all of us that you are not just all talk and no action.

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: Shame On You

It's so disheartening to read so many cruel comments from people who seem to prefer the 'looking good" of a town to the "being good" of the soul.

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: been that, done there .....

well, all those who have been convicted of drug sales and therefore cannot qualify for government food assistance will appreciate a soup kitchen.

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: Jack A. Lope

[Comment exceeded word limit.]

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: help the people blodgett

John Bon Jovi has a restaurant that he does not charge for food, but he takes donations, while feeding the hungry. Some of the comments are uncalled for.

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: Common Sense

I think "FED UP' has it exactly right. It has become a way of life to scam whoever for whatever you can get. Why work when you can get by without it? I too am for helping people who "need" it, but hate the idea of "helping" people who don't need it. They call that "enabling" when they talk about addictions (which for some is what this is). And for all those people quoting the bible and saying what Jesus would do---It seems like I've heard something about "God helps those who help themselves".

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: Step Up

[Comment exceeded word limit.]

Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article comment by: This Town

@ SJunelsla Chance,
so you are calling homeless people thieves? Or are you calling them extortionists and if we don't feed them that they will rob us?! Either way that's a pretty awful thing to say.

Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article comment by: really, really?

this is in an existing building several blocks off the downtown strip, right near the welfare office. how will this be seen by "shoppers" downtown (all 5 of them a day) the business downtown dont do as well as they could because owner after owner i have talked to say time and time again, a sad fact is Kingman residents DONT SUPPORT small businesses. ( few do, most dont) i personally know a business man who was told by almost everyone near his business if he converted to a convenience type store they would line up to support the business, well he did, and they did not. this is the story time and again here. as for the needy they dont get to eat, some have no where to sleep or any hope of anyone caring, now we have a chance to show them we do care, and help is here to get on their feet and people are attacking this idea. thats an even more sad comment about Kingman than the fact the community wont support local business. so no support for local business, no support for the needy among us, and no support for Gods work. is there even the slightest question as to why we find ourselves in this society we have created. God love you and Peace be to you see ya at the meeting im all IN.

Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

I have to agree with T. J. for once when it comes to the teachings of Jesus and the treatment of our fellow man. What I find most fascinating are the responses appearing here ranting on and on about “saving” downtown Kingman and the possible (although highly unlikely) damage to property values and businesses in the downtown area.

These are some of the same people who were vociferous in their responses to the recent half-cent sales tax hike (that saw sales tax reduced by one-half-a-cent) and said because of that half-cent they would shop “anywhere but Kingman,” thereby demonstrating their hatred for the community in which they live and the businesses that are attempting to thrive in the community.

What I take away from this is that, once again, people are terrified that someone – in this case the homeless – might actually get a benefit they will not have access to.

Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article comment by: yewl nevanome

When we helped feed the homeless in Phoenix, we brought along dog food found on sale, as many had dogs in tow. Just a thought for you folks considering helping.

Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article comment by: What?! What?!

@ T.J. Denton...
You don't care about what this town looks like?! That's a big part of the problem right there. There any MANY of us that DO care what this town looks like and keeping our property values.

There are many of us that actually want this town to improve. Do you have any extra rooms in your house that you can put some of these people up in? That's what Jesus would have done, right?

Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article comment by: I See

I see a lot of people preaching Jesus but not answering any concerns. What about the potential loss of value to the property and business owners? Don't you care about that?
Or are you trying to build in clients for your soup kitchen by creating more poor people?

Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article comment by: @ tj...

So how many of these homeless people can we sign you up for? And you would rather have the downtown fail and deteriorate because people won't want to shop there? What do you have against business and property owners?

Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article comment by: enigma enigma

Comments range from moving backwards, dropping property values, hand out job applications, hurting the revitalization of down town, drug addicts, alcoholics! One comment on health department working on fine dining in town! I wonder what would Jesus say to these people who make these comments? I think I know!

Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article comment by: Fed Up

I, like most people, used to think how wonderful it was to help people. Over the years I have learned that other than helping the elderly,infirm or children, it is a losing battle. My husband had three of his employees show up late for work. When he asked them why they were late, they bragged that they had gone to the food bank to get free donuts. I was appalled, and wanted to fire these morons. This wasn't the first time we had found out that his workers were scamming the system. When work was booming, I don't know how many of his workers quit and applied for welfare. When their case workers called to confirm that they had worked for us, my husband explained that there was plenty of work for them. The woman responded that "it's their right to get welfare". Obviously job security for her. This is a sickening way of life for many who work the system. This whole system needs to be overhauled. Why is the town constantly covered in weeds and garbage, when these parasites should be forced to work for their welfare checks? Oh, that's right, it is their right to sponge off the taxpayers! A soup kitchen only exacerbates the problem.

Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article comment by: Donnita Swanty

I would like to say... Never pre-judge people.
You can say they live in the highest part of town, ..they are loaded!!!
Reality is this...we know not our neighbors hardships because we are a environment of "always say you are doing great& never show your weak." (Oh why not ask one another for their gifts and life experiences??)
So I say this...absolutely no pre-judgement!!
Look for the good and pray for the great!
We are all the same creature!

Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article comment by: Step Up

@ one more question....

Handing out job apps wont help if theres no jobs available for many of these people in Kingman. MOST jobs ive heard of in Kingman are of higher positions and most places just do not hire homeless people due to them being HOMELESS.If YOU have jobs available then why dont you step up to the plate and hire a few of them on an easy basis instead of complaining?

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