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Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen still feeding Hoosiers amid pandemic

Posted at 8:44 AM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 08:49:00-05

GREENFIELD — Soup kitchens are doing their best to make sure those in need are being fed during the holiday season.

In Hancock County, the Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen in Greenfield hasn’t missed a day of service since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Executive director Jill Ebbert describes COVID-19 as a cyclone circling their building waiting for a crack to slip inside.

Unfortunately, the week before Christmas someone inside the kitchen contracted COVID-19 and the kitchen had to close, but thanks to the community, Hancock County residents in need didn’t go without food.

"We've got the food to feed you and the people to love you to give it to you," Ebbert said.

Because of their recent COVID-19 exposure, they are changing their operation for the week of Christmas. They will be serving both lunch and dinner from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Wednesday from a trailer in the parking lot next to the kitchen.

The Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Ebbert said their dining room normally is open and it gives people experiencing homelessness a chance to get inside and take a break from the bitter cold, but it is closed because of the pandemic.

“I look outside, and I see them walk by the door or see, like, you know, down the street, and I know they've been out all night and they are cold and there freezing,” Ebbert said.

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In Hancock County the Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen in Greenfield hasn’t missed a day of service since the pandemic started.

The soup kitchen isn’t just for the homeless. Ebbert said it’s for anyone, no questions asked.

“People who have minimum wage jobs and you can't raise a family on a minimum wage job. You've got to have some help from somewhere, and so that's the part I want them to know is that we can supplement,” Ebbert said.

Every meal includes an entrée, two sides and a dessert.

Normally you can pick up lunch from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

They make large, sacked lunches for folks to have for the weekend.

“I just want people to know that we're here and we want to take care of you. We want to feed you. We want to help you out in any way because I firmly believe that God put us on earth to help one another,” Ebbert said.

Ebbert said they haven’t seen an influx in people coming to the soup kitchen and she knows the need is out there especially during this time, and that’s why she wants Hancock County residents to know they are open, they are ready to serve, no questions asked.

The annual Christmas Eve Day of Love and Caring is still happening at the Hancock County Fairgrounds. The event will be trimmed down a little.

They are doing carry out meals and giving families a bag of toys. The event starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 12:30 p.m.