God's Katrina Kitchen Considering Sites For New Home - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

God's Katrina Kitchen Considering Sites For New Home

"This is the chowder, and you want it," a volunteer told a man standing in line.

Clam chowder, fried chicken, and beef stew tempted hundreds of volunteers, construction workers and anyone who was hungry for a hot meal Monday.

Almost a year after Katrina pummeled Pass Christian, the lines at God's Katrina Kitchen are still long.

"There's still a great need here, especially on the rebuilding part," said Camp Pastor David Roper. "That's what we've been concentrating on.  A lot of people, as people know, they haven't settled on the insurance, grants and there are people with no insurance."

People like Sammie Barnes, who lost his house and trailer park business. He's usually the first in line at the kitchen.

"My favorite is anything they cook," said Sammie Barnes. "For this company to come down here, while we try to get build back, that's a blessing."

Soon, the dining tent, volunteer huts and worship center will have to find a new home.

"Let's take the next step, and start rebuilding," said Tom Woods, an executive with Sterling Development.

The company donated the seven-acre beachfront property to the kitchen last September. Sterling has set a September 1st deadline for the kitchen to relocate, so the company can move ahead with a condominium project.

"They've been here almost a year," said Tom Woods. "They've been here for rent free. We've asked to help in any way we can. So we're not kicking them out. We're just trying to move on with progress. It's time for us now to give back to the people of the Pass, because they need housing."

"We knew the time would come that they wanted to come in here and do some development," said Pastor Roper. "There are several sites we're looking at relocating. We have enjoyed this site. It's been beautiful."

While the new location is still uncertain, one thing is for sure. The kitchen isn't leaving South Mississippi anytime soon.

"It's all in the Lord's hands, and we'll be here closely somewhere," said Pastor Roper.

Pass Christian city leaders have an offer from a property owner to use his vacant lot by the Pass High football field for the kitchen, but the volunteers who run the kitchen were not interested in that site.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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