Soldiers volunteer at the "Miracle Kitchen" in Framingham
November 23, 2007
NATICK, Mass. - Nineteen Soldiers from the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine recently volunteered their time and talent at the Salvation Army Miracle Kitchen in Framingham, Mass.
The Salvation Army runs a program to provide free meals from its own kitchen at the Salvation Army Community Center in downtown Framingham. They provide a dinner meal to all who come, six nights a week, and feed anywhere from 60 to over 100 people a night.
Since 1998, Natick civilian and military personnel have supported the program by volunteering to help on the third Thursday of each month.
Lee-Ann Barkhouse, NSRDEC, said, "One of the challenges we face is not knowing what ingredients will be available until we arrive at the kitchen. It is a lot like the television program 'Iron Chef' where we have to be creative in preparing the meal."
The Soldiers helped with the set-up of the dining facility, preparation and serving of the meal, and clean-up. Working alongside NSRDEC civilian volunteers Barkhouse, Linn Hallberg and Hazel Dodds, the Soldiers ensured that the patrons of the Miracle Kitchen received a nourishing meal. And as an extra little bonus, a couple of the Soldiers musically entertained the diners by playing the piano.
"Many compliments were received on the professionalism of the Soldiers and the delicious meal they prepared and served," said Barkhouse.
Hallberg said, "I thought that the Soldiers were examples of the finest volunteers that the Miracle Kitchen has ever seen. I believe they gave the people that they were serving a sense of pride and gratitude...you could see it on their faces."
Barkhouse and Hallberg are the Natick Miracle Kitchen Coordinators and help direct the activities of the Natick volunteers at the Miracle Kitchen.