Paris Christian Church Meal Program Helping Seniors in Logan County
Kellie Kitson, co-pastor of the Christian Church in Paris with her husband Jeremy, is passionate about helping people and her community. She knew that nurturing the community was where her heart took her when she took over the ministries of the Christian Center in Paris after her parents retired two years ago.
Kellie and Jeremy immediately opened a pantry, offering residents free food. “We don’t ask embarrassing questions or the reason people come to the pantry. Instead, we ask the family size to record data, so that we know approximately how many people we need. prepare for each day of food distribution, ”Kellie said.
She started the program by filling her car with food, but it wasn’t long before the program exceeded the amount of food she could provide. “We went from my car to a van, and now we have volunteers picking up food for our programs on their trucks,” she said.
The Christian Church of Paris offers food distributions every Wednesday and Thursday in the parking lot. While the funds for food come directly from the Paris Christian Center, Kellie does not associate the church with food gifts. “I’m not talking about the church during the food programs. If you’re hungry, it doesn’t matter whether you know Jesus or not. I never pushed Jesus on people who come to get food from church,” she declared. .
Kellie is also a volunteer at the Paris Senior Center. As she got to know the elderly, she realized how food insecure was in Logan County. When the pandemic began, the center almost completely closed its doors and many elderly people were not leaving their homes. “For most seniors, the worst fear is losing their independence, and during the pandemic, many did not leave their homes for fear of contracting COVID. But Kellie and Jeremy knew the elderly still needed meals and socializing, so amid the pandemic, they expanded the food program to provide meals for seniors living within the city limits of Paris.
Homemade meals are especially important for older people, who are often at risk for loneliness, depression and unhealthy eating. This program provides seniors with nutritional support for their body and emotional support for their mind. “It’s the most rewarding job I do,” Kellie said.
Paris Christian Center also offers a sit-down meal each week at the Mark Baine Recovery Center, followed by a recovery service. Anyone with an addiction is welcome.
This fall, Kellie and Jeremy plan to launch a grocery delivery service for seniors living in Paris. They also plan to rename the food programs to “Manna Meals”.
For more information on the food programs or to make an appointment for the pantry, contact Kellie at 479-847-6004 or message Paris Christian Church on Facebook.