Book on homeless prompts new lunch kitchen in Walla Walla

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The hungry and the homeless have another place to see a friendly face and get a hot lunch.

Pioneer United Methodist Church, 209 E. Birch St., has launched "The Pioneer Kitchen" and will serve a free soup lunch every Monday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The idea came to church member Robertta Hunt after reading "Breakfast at Sally's" by Richard LeMieux last spring, she said. The Seattle-area author chronicled his period of homelessness.

"I knew we had the homeless here … I wondered what to do," Hunt said.

The answer became clear, she said, and her pastor allowed her to use the church. While hungry people can get a free breakfast and dinner at the Christian Aid Center, lunch can be elusive.

The Vineyard Free Methodist Church now serves lunch on Wednesdays and Fridays, leaving five days a week open for other churches to step up to the plate, Hunt said.

"I'd love to have three more churches for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Maybe even Sunday," she said.

With an enthusiastic response from the Pioneer congregation, she has six teams already lined up for the outreach, and each team will be donating most of the ingredients used in that week's soup. Additional volunteers and cash are welcome. For details call Hunt at 529-2281 or Pioneer Methodist at 525-1870.

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