Marcella's Kitchen celebrates nine years

Marcella’s Kitchen owner Marcella Perkins (middle) poses with volunteers (from left) LeLane Taylor, Beverly Douglas, Mary Pitts, Richard Thomasson, Caleb Allison, Gary Carter, Wilburn Sirls and Donna Murphy. The kitchen is celebrating its ninth anniversary this month.

BENTON — Marcella’s Kitchen in Marshall County still has an unbridled spirit, owner Marcella Perkins says, despite being tethered by COVID-19 restrictions for now.

The community kitchen is celebrating its ninth anniversary this month and one year in a new location, having moved from from Griggstown Road to Guy Mathis Drive.

The milestone is nice recognition, said Perkins, 78. But otherwise it’s business as usual for the nonprofit agency.

“We’ve been sending out 200 meals a day,” she said. Despite closures, hot meals are still available for curbside pickup from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday.

More than 4,000 meals were given in April, up almost 1,000 meals from March.

“It’s certainly more than usual,” Perkins said. “Every month we seem to be going up because of the virus. … But it’s been a blessing. I love it, and the Lord has been good to this ministry. It’s been a privilege to do this for nine years.”

Marcella’s Kitchen offers daily meals to Marshall residents who are struggling financially.

Normally about 11 volunteers prepare daily meals, for either sit-down dining or delivery. Before the pandemic, Perkins saw 60 to 90 people in the dining room daily.

“I’m hoping (after re-opening) they’ll come back into the dining room and eat with us,” she said. “I’m hoping and praying that when we open we’re not at limited capacity.

“Right now, since we can serve more with homebound and pickup meals, we’re going to keep things that way; that way we know everyone is getting help.”

Perkins worked at Community Kitchen in Paducah for two years, then she “got to wondering” if Marshall County needed its own version, leading to the foundation of Marcella’s Kitchen.

“After a lot of prayer, research and meetings we opened in 2011. And we’ve been going strong ever since,” she said.

Marcella’s Kitchen accepts cash donations at P.O. Box 272 in Benton.

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