St. Michael’s Kitchen dishes out holiday dinner, approaching 1-year anniversary |

St. Michael’s Kitchen dishes out holiday dinner, approaching 1-year anniversary

Scott Schlaufman

Pam Lathrop spent most of Thursday preparing a holiday meal daunting in scope.

On the menu: Seven hams, 50 pounds of potatoes, 36 pounds of assorted vegetables, and numerous rolls and desserts.

The cooking began at 9:30 a.m. and lasted until early evening.

But, the effort was for a good reason.

The food went out to nearly 60 shut-in residents, and was made available to an estimated 175 to 200 people for Thursday’s holiday dinner at St. Michael’s Kitchen.

It was undoubtedly a large task, but for the volunteer Lathrop, she said it was the least she can do.

“Sometimes we think life is hard for us,” an emotional Lathrop said. “You see people come in here that don’t have a place to live. It makes you thankful for what you have.

“I’m humbled to see somebody because … there are people who have it a lot worse than I do. I’m doing this because this is what I want to do for my community.”

The kitchen, located in the basement of St. Michael Catholic Church at 678 School St, will mark its one-year anniversary Dec. 29.

Each week it serves two free meals to guests as well as residents who aren’t able to make it to the kitchen.

Gail Severson has volunteered for the majority of the kitchen’s tenure and seen the service gradually expand in the number of people it serves.

“We’ve grown from 35 people to anywhere from 130 to 150 (people) twice a week,” Severson said. “It’s really grown.”

Food expenses were originally paid by volunteers. But, as the service grew, so too did donations. Currently, the only out-of-pocket expense comes from volunteers who use their cars to deliver food.

“It’s just a miracle,” Severson said. “I don’t know how else to put it.”

City Market, Safeway and The Memorial Hospital are frequent contributors to the program and the kitchen accepts other donations of money, food or time from various sources.

4-H members and Moffat County High School’s Dis-

tributive Education Clubs of America helped serve Thursday’s dinner and are among the numerous groups and organizations in Craig that have helped serve food. Other participants have included the Craig City Council, Craig Chamber of Commerce, Girl Scouts and various local sports teams.

Erica Dilldine, a Moffat County High School sophomore, helped serve Thursday. She was at the kitchen as a representative of the school’s DECA club, but has helped before as a member of St. Michael.

“The smile on everyone’s face when they see how many people care about serving,” Dilldine said of why she enjoys volunteering at the kitchen. “It’s more community service hours and great fun.”

The kitchen offers different things to different people.

For some, it’s volunteering. For others who are having hard times financially, it’s a free meal. And for others still, it’s a chance for fellowship.

“You don’t think there’s that many people who don’t have enough food, but apparently there is.” Severson said. “Anybody’s welcome. Some people come just to have company.”

Meals at St. Michael Kitchen are served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays and 4 to 6 p.m. Thursdays. Anyone is welcome to attend.

For more information or to help volunteer, call the kitchen at 824-5330.