Marcella's Kitchen volunteers

Volunteers at Marcella’s Kitchen package meals for community members on Thursday.

In sickness and in health, Marcella’s Kitchen has kept its doors open feeding community members in need of a hot meal. What began as a soup kitchen in the Lion’s Club building in Draffenville in 2011 has become a place of comfort, nutrition and friendship at its current location on the corner of George McClain and Guy Mathis drives in Benton.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed down the operations at the kitchen over the past six months. Instead it has caused an increase in the amount of meals given out daily. Volunteers have been preparing double the amount of meals in 2020 compared to 2019. According to founder Marcella Perkins, a total of 24,585 meals were given in 2019. Through August 2020, the kitchen has already provided 32,321meals.

Marcella’s is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meals can be delivered to homebound residents by calling Chyrill Miller at 270-205-2923.

Each day the kitchen will deliver on average 100 meals to homebound residents, deliver 20 meals to the Marshall County Exceptional Center and will serve 100 meals through the “drive thru” located at 868 Guy Mathis Dr.

Through the pandemic, the number of volunteers has decreased some and Perkins said they are in need of people willing to serve. Volunteers are needed Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

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“Volunteers are so important because our number of meals is going up. Right now we have less volunteers doing more work,” said Perkins.

Community members can sign up to volunteer on the the kitchen’s website, www.marcellaskitchen.com

Marcella’s Kitchen is made possible by donations — both monetary and food. Monetary donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 272, Benton, KY 42025. Monthly auto withdraws can be set up through CFSB. Donations can also be made online at www.marcellaskitchen.com.

Perkins said the kitchen plans to prepare a Thanksgiving meal again this year and hopes to have a Christmas party in December to give Christmas gifts.