Lo­cal soup kitchen serves food with la­dles of love

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIFFANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com

Ev­ery Wed­nes­day in In­dian Head, peo­ple in need of a free hot meal will find a soup kitchen where the food is cooked with love and will keep their stom­achs warm.

Ar­line Arnold is a co-founder of La­dles of Love soup kitchen at Metropoli­tan United Methodist Church, along with six other women who de­cided to have an eat one/take one theme. She and her hus­band, Clarence Arnold, are also the founders of The Arnold House, a soup kitchen which orig­i­nated out of their home in Wal­dorf.

“What the name rep­re­sents for us is that as cooks, the la­dle is

ev­ery­thing in the kitchen and ev­ery­body has one whether you can cook or not,” Ar­line said. “It’s just a sym­bol of us serv- ing our com­mu­nity ev­ery Wed­nes­day night. We’re a fam­ily get­ting to­gether to serve other fam­i­lies who need a meal. Plus there’s no bet­ter joy than see­ing some­one eat food that you pre­pared and en­joy it. There’s no bet­ter joy than that.”

Ar­line said the La­dles of Love soup kitchen feeds 100-120 peo­ple ev­ery Wed­nes­day and some­times even up to 160 peo­ple when the weather per­mits. Each night is spon­sored by some­one — a fam­ily, or­ga­ni­za­tion or com­muni- ty mem­ber. Spon­sors pay $175 and it cov­ers the en- tire meal, pa­per prod­ucts and even dessert.

“I can stretch a dol­lar,” Ar­line said.

While the ladies in charge do all of the shop- ping and cook­ing, the spon­sors can come in, so­cial­ize and come see the re­sult of what they have paid for.

“To grow to this many peo­ple has re­ally been eye-open­ing,” said Ar- line. “It’s more of a fam­ily set­ting. The same peo­ple come back and bring friends. It’s been a year, so there are fa­mil­iar faces. I can hap­pily thank­fully say that we have never missed a Wed­nes­day this year. We work re­ally hard.”

Ar­line said many lo­cal se­nior cit­i­zens will come in to eat and then pack up a meal to take to some­one they know who is home­less, dis­abled, a shut-in or with­out trans­porta­tion.

In­dian Head res­i­dent Ver­non Smith said he and about 10 to 15 other lo­cals from the In­dian Head Se­nior Cen­ter at­tend ev­ery week and take food to some­one else who needs it.

“This soup kitchen re­ally wants to serve the peo­ple who are hurt­ing and need a free, hot meal,” Smith said. “The beauty of it is that peo­ple bring their kids. They come, they serve, they’re sweet and when you start teach­ing kids at an early age to be givers, you can’t beat that.”

Vol­un­teer Dor­cie Mar- shall said the lov­ing, fam- ily-friendly en­vi­ron­ment is preva­lent at the restau­rant-style soup kitchen with ad­di­tional vol­un­teers who serve peo­ple at each ta­ble.

“Peo­ple en­joy com­ing out and that’s a good feel- ing for me,” Mar­shall said. “This part of Charles County is so ne­glected and not ev­ery­one here is home­less. This soup kitchen is well-needed in the com­mu­nity. Se­nior cit- izens like to come here. It’s al­ways good to get the young peo­ple to come out be­cause this gen­er­a­tion is so spoiled, so it’s good for them to see that there are oth­ers who are less fortu- nate and they’re here mak- ing a dif­fer­ence.”

Gar­cia Buck­ley is a vol- un­teer with Rachel’s Chal- lenge, an anti-bul­ly­ing club at Matthew Hen­son Mid­dle School. Buck­ley brought 10 stu­dents and their par­ents to the La­dles of Love Soup Kitchen on Dec. 14. The af­ter-school club spends its time per- form­ing ran­dom acts of kind­ness through­out the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“The kids love it,” Buck- ley said. “They want to serve the peo­ple and help oth­ers. We have dif­fer­ent types of ser­vice projects through­out the year, but I love this place. I’m so hap- py we are part­ner­ing with them for the first time and we hope to con­tinue it in the fu­ture.”

Louis Bas­sett, 12, a stu- dent at Matthew Hen­son Mid­dle School, said he en­joyed serv­ing food and bring­ing each per­son what they re­quested. He said the ex­pe­ri­ence helped him un­der­stand that life is all about giv­ing, not tak­ing.

“It’s pretty cool that they bring home­less peo­ple here to get food for free,” Louis said. “I like how I get to talk to them. They are po­lite. If I were home­less, I would like to be able come here, where other kids serve things to me.”

“It’s good to help out fam­i­lies that are in need,” said his mother, Ali­cia Bas­sett. “Around the hol­i­days I think it shows [my son] that it’s about more than just presents.”

The La­dles of Love soup kitchen also picks up food from MOM’s in Wal­dorf on Mon­days and Wed­nes­days, and the goods are made avail­able to ev­ery­one who shows up at the soup kitchen. Any­one in­ter­ested in spon­sor­ship and vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties can call Arnold at 202494-7556.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY TIFFANY WAT­SON

Ar­line Arnold, a co-founder of La­dles of Love soup kitchen at Metropoli­tan United Methodist Church, so­cial­izes with se­nior cit­i­zens as they eat the meal she helped pre­pare.

Louis Bas­sett, 12, a Rachel’s Chal­lenge anti-bul­ly­ing club mem­ber at Matthew Hen­son Mid­dle School, serves soup to Bryans Road res­i­dent Aria McClean, 2, at La­dles of Love soup kitchen on Dec. 14.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY TIFFANY WAT­SON

Gar­cia Buck­ley, a vol­un­teer with Rachel’s Chal­lenge anti-bul­ly­ing club at Matthew Hen­son Mid­dle School, serves cake baked by co­founder Ar­line Arnold at the La­dles of Love soup kitchen in In­dian Head on Dec. 14.

Ju­lian Rev­elle, 13, a Rachel’s Chal­lenge anti-bul­ly­ing club mem­ber at Matthew Hen­son Mid­dle School, serves food and chats with se­nior cit­i­zens at the La­dles of Love soup kitchen on Dec. 14.

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