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KOTV - 12/14/2007 9:42 AM - Updated 12/17/2007 3:06 PM

Power Or Not Charity Work Goes On

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There are dozens of agencies helping thousands of people during the ice storm disaster. Those who feed the homeless are pressing on with or without lights. The News On 6's Rick Wells reports a group of volunteers set out to cook a noon meal at a midtown church by using headlamps.

Something wonderful happened at St Paul's United Methodist Church on Friday. A group of dedicated volunteers was preparing the regular Friday noon meal, something they've done for the past 13 years. They call it Manna Meals. They usually feed about 150 people. But, they always prepare a little extra.

While the crew worked on in minimal light trying to see their utensils; suddenly, the lights came back on. The light was an overwhelming gift for Manna Meals coordinator Carolyne Klenda. She said she'd been crying all day because despite the lack of light, her volunteers came in to cook just like always.

Once the lights were back on, they could see what they were cooking: a hearty soup made with the Thanksgiving leftovers they had frozen.

"We just threw it in a pot. If necessary, we can just cook up some noodles. You know, put it over noodles to make it go farther," said Manna Meals coordinator Carolyne Klenda.

They had biscuits, sliced peaches; they whipped up some instant mashed potatoes and had Little Debbies for dessert. Not bad at all for a group of volunteers who started the day working in the dark and for the hungry folks who showed up. Their faith was rewarded with a good hot meal.

The Manna Meals program at St. Paul's has been serving meals every Friday since 1994. One of these years they hope to raise enough money to remodel the kitchen so they can expand the program.

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