Founders of The Father's Kitchen looking for new home - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Founders of The Father's Kitchen looking for new home

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The founders of an Albany soup kitchen are asking for your help.

After years of feeding the hungry in downtown Albany, The Father's Kitchen had to close last year.

Volunteers say the need for their ministry is greater than ever, so they want to re-open.

The Father's Kitchen served meals to people in need for 14 years, before it lost it's home. Now the woman who spear headed the soup kitchen is looking for another location they can feed one to two hundred people a week.

During it's heyday, The Father's Kitchen would host more than 500 people for its annual Christmas Celebration, and give Christmas presents. Toni Grebel's daughter came up with the original idea to help feed the hungry, and she helped lead the weekly meal until last year, when they lost their home.

Grebel said "Yeah, it was traumatic. Not just for the people but for those of us who have worked there since the beginning."

The Father's Kitchen was located in the old First Baptist of Albany building on Pine Avenue, until they sold the building last year. The new church owner decided not to continue the soup kitchen. Since then Grebel has been searching for a new home.

 Grebel said "Due to the cost of having to renovate so many of them, we were not able to take them."

Grebel continues to work with those in need at the Lord's Pantry, and says the need is greater than ever.

Grebel said "The poverty level here in Albany is so bad. And there are so many more people, especially we have so many more homeless now. Because of the job situation."

The Father's Kitchen was run completely by volunteers with only donations from the community.   So it's been hard to find a location in downtown capable of handling meals for one to two hundred people. But the search goes on.

Grebel said "We still have a lot of faith that we are going to find another place."

Grebel said she is sure they will be able to re-open the Father's Kitchen in the next year, with the help of people in the community that will let her continue her dream.

Toni Grebel said that many people have no idea of the whole different world of people who live in poor neighborhoods in Albany.   And she says the number of people in need continues to grow because of job losses and the economy.

If you can help The Father's Kitchen find a new home downtown, call First Baptist Church of Albany at 883-8000 and leave a message.

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