Even though the people of Cherokee are in the midst of trying to replace the Clinic in their small community and struggling to pay for renovations to the old church which they are trying to save, they continue to think of their neighbours in need and the Soup Kitchen continues to be appreciated now more than ever.
Epworth Methodist Chapel does an outreach program of ministering to some of the less fortunate citizens in the immediate vicinity with a monthly soup kitchen. Since its inception in March of 2011 some ladies from the church’s congregation have gotten together once a month to prepare a noon-day meal for those who may be handicapped, bedridden or widowed.
Since the program started, 834 meals have been served, averaging anywhere from 21 to 40 meals each time. The menu has ranged from fresh fruit or pasta salad, meat casseroles, tuna melts and hamburgers to souses, chowders or soups. Believe it or not, they have only duplicated themselves by preparing yellow pea soup and conch chowder a couple of times. Those are the most popular items they prepare. In addition, a noontime meal was only missed a couple of times when a local function was being held in the settlement and they were almost guaranteed a meal from a visiting family member.
Besides receiving a few donations of cash, they also receive the main meat or some of the extra supplies from local food stores, family and friends. Once they received a generous donation of already prepared bowls of chicken souse from the Rotary Club in Marsh Harbour. When their “Souse Out” was finished they found they had lots of souse left-over and rather than see it go to waste they thought of the people in Cherokee.
Normally the meals are ready by 11:30 am, packaged and delivered to each home along with crackers, Johnny cake or a bun and occasionally even a dessert.
Friends helping friends, this is what the little community is all about. When people see you trying to help yourself, they generously come forward and want to give you a hand. They don’t want to claim to be unique in this concept, but the visitors and boaters see what they are striving to do for themselves, recognize it and admire it and this is just one of the reasons they keep coming back to our shores year after year.