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Hungry Hearts Feeding Ministry prepares to open doors at new building

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 7:04 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - It’s an exciting week for Hungry Hearts Feeding Ministry in Lawton -- the local non-profit is unveiling its renovated building to the public later this week after nearly two years of hard work.

Hungry Hearts started small, serving meals to the homeless and those in need a few years ago out of a church and growing vegetables in a backyard garden.

Founder and President Adriene Davis said she never expected it to transform into what it is today.

“Now I don’t have to go from one place to another place and pick up donations and drop off donations and prepare some place else and then bring it to the facility,” Davis said. “We have a full kitchen now that we can fully utilize, so grateful for that so it’s really, truly a big difference.”

In late 2019, a donor gave the old American Legion Building on 11th St. to the organization, but it needed a little TLC and new kitchen equipment.

The pandemic may have slowed progress, but Davis and the community that helped complete the project never gave up.

“This has certainly been a unique and amazing journey. I mean, with the COVID-19 and everything that has been going on, there have been days that we absolutely could not have been in the building,” Davis said. “There have been days that we have not been able to have the volunteers that were needed.”

The building has two levels -- downstairs you’ll find a walk-in freezer and refrigerator.

Upstairs -- a brand new grill, two sinks, a stove, ovens, a deep-fryer, a serving line with warmers, another refrigerator and storage space for pots and pans.

Davis set up the tables and chairs restaurant-style because she feels it’s more dignified.

“It really kind of broke my heart when we started fully feeding, opening the doors again, some of them literally stopped in their tracks and said ‘This is for us? Can I come in?’ Absolutely, you can come in,” Davis said. “We just want them to have a place of peace, a place of comfort.”

It’s complete with two hydroponic towers that allow volunteers to grow produce year-round.

In just three weeks, they’ve already quickly grown lettuce, spinach and kale.

Hungry Hearts is still looking for someone to build raised beds, where they can grow fruits and vegetables outside for the homeless that may walk through the parking lot and want to grab a bite.

“If your body is healthy, your mind tends to be more healthy and there’s nothing wrong with canned goods or anything like that and we’re grateful and appreciate when canned goods are donated and any non-perishable items are donated, but if we can offer a treat of fresh fruits and fresh vegetables, that just makes it all the more better,” Davis said.

To go meals are served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays. They’re planning to start serving inside again in October three days a week.

Everyone is invited to the open house for tours at 5 p.m. on Friday. There are going to be several non-profits, plus food trucks and music.

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