Harriman church helping feed hungry kids

HARRIMAN, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Marilyn Johnson and her two step-grandchildren ate lunch at Courts of Praise Church in Harriman on Tuesday.

"When I get hungry, sometimes I come here," said Tariq Frazier, who is seven years old.

"I can't wait to come here because it looks good, and the food is good to me," said Carnella Frazier, who is six.

Johnson said her grandkids are in the free lunch program during the school year, but during the summer:

"It's up to Granny to do that. I have to look out for them, buy food for them to feed them at the house. Sometimes I feed them three times a day. Maybe four times if they get hungry - I can't stand to see a kid be hungry," said Johnson.

Neither can the church, which expanded its soup kitchen from Tuesdays and Thursdays to five days a week to make sure no child goes without food.

"I have five kids of my own and when they're hungry, they want something to eat. And a lot of parents aren't able to feed their kids. And we want them to be able to eat," said Dwayne Linger, the church's food pantry and soup kitchen coordinator.

The soup kitchen is also open to adults in need.

"I don't eat much at home because my dad and mom make money, but not enough, so I come down here and eat," said Jonathan Branhan.

To help raise money for the food, the church is opening up an ice cream shop on Friday by the Rocky Top General Store. All of the money will go towards feeding the hungry.

That's helpful, since the soup kitchen feeds about 200 adults a week, and is now expecting at least 100 hungry kids on top of that.

People can also pick up groceries once a month from the church's food pantry. The church said donations and volunteers are always welcome.


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