Kent’s Neighbor Ministry Serves the Community

April 01, 2011 | Janet Evans

With little recognition or honor, a dedicated group of volunteers has served meals to the homeless every Wednesday and Saturday — for the past 21 years!

Neighbor to Neighbor served its first meal — soup and sandwiches — in April 1990. Linda Train, a newly baptized member who wanted to make a difference in her community, developed the idea to serve meals in the community.

"We are a community outreach with compassion for those less fortunate," Train says.

Twenty-one years later, this community service is now a familiar extension of the Kent (Wash.) Church. The outreach is recognized in the community as a valuable resource for the homeless, jobless individuals and struggling families.

Each week, 25 rotating volunteers cook and serve at least 160 meals and provide sack lunches. Weekly tasks include doing laundry, sorting donations, cleaning up following meals, ordering products, donation pick-ups and doing necessary shopping.

In addition to providing a warm meal and sometimes a blanket or warm coat, volunteers chat with the people who come and give a friendly smile or sometimes even a hug.

Volunteers who have served for 10 years or more include: Linda and Doug Train, Lacy Harrison, Rick Shillinger, Steve DesGarennes, Lana Jewell, Shirley Crady, Juanita Barnes, Pam Dale, and Lou and Glen Palmer.

Read more about Neighbor to Neighbor's story at