‘Stomachs Full of Hope’
On any given day, hundreds of men, women and children are without a home in the Port City and surrounding areas. Rain or shine, hot or cold these people are often down on their luck struggling to find shelter and food to eat.
For many within the local homeless population, they know throughout their often unstable daily lives, one thing is constant, The Salvation Army.
Every day The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama provides shelter to families at The Salvation Army Family Haven, and nearly 30 homeless men every night in our homeless shelter. During inclement weather, that number can rise to well over a hundred. Service to the homeless extends beyond an opportunity to sleep in a warm bed every night; The Salvation Army provides daily warm meals to the homeless. Breakfast and afternoon dinner are provided bringing sustenance to the men and women currently enduring hard times.
The Salvation Army kitchen staff provides over 400 meals every day, and a portion of those meals are dedicated to the local homeless population. Renowned Salvation Army chef, Cecil Morris heads the culinary department.
USA Today and The Mobile Press Register featured Morris in articles which recount his background in The Salvation Army and its culinary department.
“He knows what it’s like to be on both sides of the soup kitchen line. He was homeless and addicted to drugs and alcohol in 1992 when he entered the Salvation Army’s adult rehab center.” Morris says at the time, “Coming through the food line, the menu relied heavily on bland staples such as rice and beans.” “After a year in the program, Morris asked the chef in charge of the kitchen to teach him how to cook. That chef gave him the skills he uses today as the culinary arts director” – USA Today, Mobile Press-Register.
Morris along with a handful of fellow chefs and kitchen staff prepare meals for the homeless, clients residing at The Salvation Army going through drug and alcohol treatment programs, and special events. It makes the staff feel good to know they are
providing a beacon of hope in the stomachs of many people every day. This sentiment is reaffirmed on a cold January afternoon as hundreds of homeless men and women walk into the dining room and enjoy a warm meal, leaving with smiles on their faces. To The Salvation Army kitchen staff, seeing those smiling faces reminds them they are ‘Doing The Most Good’.
Are you or a group interested in volunteering to feed the homeless at The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama? Click the icon for details.