September 14, 2008

Soup Kitchen Volunteer

Hale Kau Kau is the soup kitchen run by St. Theresa and a group of dedicated people and volunteers. This soup kitchen has been running for 17 years. It is open 365 days a year 7 days a week. They serve dinner to anyone who comes every evening in Kihei. I was impressed when I went there to volunteer the other day.

Last week I had a bag of groceries that I brought over there and popped my head in to see if I could volunteer and when. Marie, the manager said that they needed a cook on Wednesday evenings. I said I would be there and showed up a little after 2:00 ready to create a meal.

I felt privileged to work in such a positive environment. Everything was so well organized. I had leeway to make what I wanted that first evening since I was the cook. I wasn’t quite as fast as I could have been, considering that I had about 90 minutes to make a meal for 100 people after figuring out what to make. I saw what was in the pantry and walk-in and made some quick evaluations. In addition to the men and women who come for meals every evening the soup kitchen also provides meals for home-bound people across the island. We prepared enough meals for 40 carry-out meals so that people who cannot leave their homes would get fed as well.

I made pasta with fresh basil garlic pesto with carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. There was some spiced turkey that I had cubed and we put that into the pasta for the main course. Since there wasn’t enough pasta I also made another main course with risotto and turkey and served a side of spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Gail, a regular volunteer and amazing woman made salad that everyone raved over. Every evening they serve dessert, bread and fruit too, along with milk. It’s a very healthy and fresh meal.

I loved the fact that the people who were coming to eat a meal were getting food that was not only home cooked but was cooked with love. I knew right away that everyone at Hale Kau Kau loves what they do and do it with compassion and caring, it’s obvious.

If you are in Maui visiting or a full time resident come by and volunteer or drop off donations at the kitchen at St. Theresa’s in Kihei. During the week you can come and volunteer at 3:00 Mon- Fri and 2:30 on the weekends. This was a good experience for me, to help me open my eyes wider and see another world beyond the one I exist in.

Live well, eat well and appreciate all that you have.

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