On its 35th Anniversary, the Love Kitchen was gifted with a new van long-time supporter Rusty Wallace Nissan, and a check for $7,428.49 and 12 barrels of canned food from the County Mayor Glenn Jacobs.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Love Kitchen has a long history of service in Knox County. It provides meals, clothing, and emergency food packages for the homebound, homeless and unemployed. It serves over 3,000 meals a week with over 80% of those meals delivered to the elderly, disabled and homebound. The support of the Knox County government, individuals and businesses make it possible.
“The support we receive from the community—both from individuals and businesses—is what continues to make it possible,” said Patrick Riggins, executive director of the Love Kitchen.
A long-time Love Kitchen business supporter, Rusty Wallace Nissan at 4515 Clinton Highway in Knoxville, decided it was time to upgrade the Kia van they donated a decade ago. On Friday, Feb. 12, the dealership gifted a new 2021 Nissan NV3500 passenger/cargo van.
Jim McMichael Signs & Truck Painting was commissioned to detail the new van with the Love Kitchen logo and an image of the sisters.
But wait, there’s more! Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs presented the non-profit with a check for $7,428 and 16 barrels of canned goods that were collected during the 2020 Holiday Festival of Lights at the Cove, which has been the tradition for many years. (The 2019 Festival of Lights at the Cove set a record of $7,677 and collected 12 barrels of food.)
“In the year of COVID-19 a lot of things changed, but not this,” said Mayor Jacobs. “The Festival of Lights is an incredible community tradition, and the Love Kitchen is a great organization. I’m grateful for the generous contributions from so many who were able to enjoy it and help out.”
Repairs were also made to the exterior of the Love Kitchen facility and finished off with a fresh coat of paint. A new sign will soon be affixed.
For more information, to donate or volunteer; call 865-546-3248 or visit the website thelovekitchen.org.
ABOUT: The Love Kitchen is a charitable movement that started in a small church on Valentine’s Day in 1986 when twin sisters Helen Ashe and Ellen Turner served 22 meals to those in need. The two continued on their mission of feeding Knoxville’s working poor, homeless and homebound. They went on to establish a non-profit, The Love Kitchen at 2418 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. in East Knoxville. The all-volunteer team now serves more than 3,000 meals a week with 80 percent of those meals delivered to the elderly, disabled and homebound.
Twin sisters Helen and Ellen Ashe established the Love Kitchen at 2418 MLK Ave. and continued their service to those in need until their passing. Ellen Turner passed away in April 2015 and Helen Ashe in February 2018.