WESTFIELD - A little can go a long way.
Although $20 a week may not sound like a lot to some, it makes a huge difference to the Westfield Community Kitchen. And that is exactly what Westfield resident and Family Dollar training manager Terri Robinson is doing.
For the past two Fridays, Robinson has allowed Westfield Community Kitchen Director Beth Powers to pick up $20 worth of products available at Family Dollar with Robinson footing the bill and she plans on continuing to do so as long as financially possible.
Photo by Jenna Loughlin
Westfield Community Kitchen Director Beth Powers, center, finishes shopping at the Westfield Family Dollar store for $20 worth of supplies Family Dollar employee Terri Robinson, right, has volunteered to pay for each week. Powers was accompanied during the trip by her husband, Ron Powers, left.
"It's such a big gift," Powers said. "For her to take this from her own (account), that's huge."
For the past few months, Robinson had been donating bread to the kitchen, but under the new arrangement, Powers is able to buy anything the kitchen might need. This week, her cart was full of creamer, cheese, soups for casseroles and coffee. Last week she picked up hot dogs. Next week in could be eggs, or anything else needed to complete a hot meal for those in need.
"I can get anything I want," Power said. "A lot of these items are items I can't buy from the food bank. This is supplementing (that)."
"I asked myself, how many people could you ask in a day, 'Have you had a meal today?'" Robinson said when asked what made her donate to the kitchen. "I'm in a position that I'm able to do that."
In addition to her financial contribution, Beth Powers called Robinson an "advocate" for the kitchen, recommending it to customers she talks to at her job. Robinson sees the kitchen not only as an opportunity for a warm lunch, but as a place for people who might not see another person all day to socialize.
"It's not just feeding the belly, it's feeding the soul too," Robinson said.
For Powers and her husband, Ron, who accompanied her on the most recent shopping trip, Robinson's donation is a true blessing.
"It's not easy," Ron Powers said.
"Angels are among us," Beth Powers said. "It's people like this and local church's that donate (which keeps the kitchen running). ... Thank you to all the donators. I am appreciative of anyone who donates."
The Westfield Community Kitchen serves a hot meal Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in the Episcopal Church located at 12 Elm Street in Westfield. Doors are open starting at 9:30 a.m., for anyone who needs coffee or to escape from the elements. The kitchen is always looking for donations of time, money or food. To contact the kitchen, call 326-2055
"Everyone could find something ... to make a difference," Robinson said.