Master's Table needs to find new home

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It's more than a midday meal folks find when they visit The Master's Table.

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Volunteers and the hungry pray before food is given out at lunch. The facility seats only 45 people, so staff must hurry people in and out.  Kendrick Brinson/Staff
Kendrick Brinson/Staff
Volunteers and the hungry pray before food is given out at lunch. The facility seats only 45 people, so staff must hurry people in and out.

The soup kitchen offers a plate of food and plenty of love to about 300 people in need every day, said Mike Firmin, the executive director of Golden Harvest Food Bank, which runs the kitchen.

Years of service, though, have taken a toll on the building's sewage system and structure, Mr. Firmin said.

"The main issues are that the building has been in constant use since 1991," he said. "It's settling. It needs to be replaced or we need a larger facility."

The Master's Table was the first community outreach of Golden Harvest when it began in 1982, Mr. Firmin said. Golden Harvest now runs the food kitchen and distributes nonperishable food to 30 counties in Georgia and South Carolina.

The steady increase of those in need of a meal has more than doubled through the years, associate director Barry Forde said.

"The facility seats 45 at one time, so we're having to run people through quickly," he said. "In addition to serving a meal, the purpose is for people to sit and have some dignity. That doesn't give us a lot of time."

Shirley Thomas, the manager of The Master's Table, has worked through the challenges of running the soup kitchen in the worn-down building. In December, sewage problems closed the kitchen for nine days, she said.

"It hurts me because they have to do without," Mrs. Thomas said. "Having a new building would mean more seating, no more caulking the cracks in the wall. It would mean everything."

For the past four years, Mr. Firmin has searched for a downtown location to meet the needs of The Master's Table. Financial support is great, but the challenge has been finding a location.

"Hope springs eternal," he said. "I do have a couple of things that could result in our dream coming true. I'm hoping the Lord will do it when he's ready."

Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com.

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karmakills123
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karmakills123 02/03/08 - 09:57 am
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This is a worthy cause and I

This is a worthy cause and I hope folks get behind them and donate....hold some fundraisers...............

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 02/03/08 - 11:45 am
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The Soup Kitchen operates

The Soup Kitchen operates under a "no questions asked" policy. That explains why, "the steady increase of those in need of a meal has more than doubled through the years, associate director Barry Forde said." Come to think of it, is there anyone anywhere in the world who doesn't "need" a meal?

kiseta50
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kiseta50 02/03/08 - 04:34 pm
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Why don't they consider the

Why don't they consider the old Davidson school building, it must have a kitchen and it is planty of room for feeding the people.

Little Lamb
44029
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Little Lamb 02/03/08 - 10:53 pm
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Because, Kiseta, the school

Because, Kiseta, the school board has let the building run down so much that it is unsafe for any human use.

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