Ministry will unveil new cafeteria

Published 4:33 pm Friday, October 11, 2013

A new commercial-sized kitchen will be unveiled Monday at Through the Grace of God Ministries in Clanton. The cafeteria will be equipped to serve more people in need.

A new commercial-sized kitchen will be unveiled Monday at Through the Grace of God Ministries in Clanton. Ministry Director Ralph Bingham (pictured) said the cafeteria will be equipped to serve more people in need.

Through the Grace of God Ministries in Clanton will unveil a new cafeteria building Monday with a commercial-sized kitchen equipped to serve more people in need.

Ralph Bingham, who is the director for the ministry, said the building is a blessing for the ministry and everyone is excitedly anticipating the first day it will be open.

“We have been having lunch under a tent this week as we have been in transition from the old location to the new building,” Bingham said. “Our people are excited about having the new facility open.”

The 2,400-square-foot building has been a work in progress since June 2, 2012, with volunteers who have donated their time to making sure all of the details for the building were complete.

Equipped with amenities such as food warmers, a cafeteria style serving area, a double convection oven, ice machine and all gas appliances, the ministry will now be able to serve more people in need of hot meals each week.

Bingham also hopes to incorporate a program for the ministry to deliver meals to those unable to leave their homes.

“This facility allows us to serve more people in the community,” Bingham said. “We will have the ability to be more efficient with serving the meals which will be wonderful.”

With the addition of the cafeteria building, Bingham said the building will fit a capacity of 109 people with roughly 400 meals served each week.

Gretchen Kendrick with the Montgomery Area Food Bank visited the facility on Friday to tour the new area and visit with Bingham and those involved with the ministry.

“This is awesome,” Kendrick said. “In the three months since I have last been here I can not believe how great everything turned out.”

Bingham said the Montgomery Area Food Bank selected Through the Grace of God Ministries as a model agency for the state of Alabama to show other agencies the work that has been accomplished throughout the years.

“We don’t just feed people here, we build relationships,” Bingham said. “I want people to be excited about their lives and the Lord.”

Frieda Lee often visits the organization and said she has been blessed by the ministry for several years.

“I thank God for them because they have helped feed this community,” Lee said. “So many people don’t know where their next meal will come from and there is always someone here who will make time to listen to you.”

The ministry is located in a refurbished sewing factory warehouse at 75 Eighth St. in Clanton.

Operating on both private donations and volunteers, Bingham said there is always a need.

“We could use more volunteers,” Bingham said. “With the new cafeteria facility we would love to have people come and serve meals.”

The center serves up to nine meals a week with weekday meals served Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to noon, weekend meals served every Thursday and Friday from 5-6 p.m. and Sunday at 8 a.m. before the ministry’s church service at 9 a.m.

The ministry also serves Saturday meals once or twice each month from 5-6 p.m.

Bingham said a future project for the ministry is the addition of an amphitheatre section toward the rear portion of the cafeteria building.

Bingham said the amphitheatre would be used for special singings on the porch to be able to allow the songs to go out to the neighborhoods near the ministry.

For more information or to volunteer, call (205) 755-8199.