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Stories

Cooking from Love

At 6:00 every morning, volunteers and Mission residents gather in the kitchen to prepare a hot, nutritious breakfast. More volunteers serve the meal to the guests lined up at 7:00. At lunchtime, it all happens again, and because of you, dozens of people are well-fed and cared for each day. At the center of the operation is our Kitchen Manager, Mary Thompson.

Mary has spent her whole life in Frederick and is well-known and respected by the community. She confidently conducts the kitchen’s operations based on her daily prep chart. She doesn’t just tell people in the kitchen what to do; she shows them how to prepare food, so everyone who works in the kitchen develops valuable skills. Everything Mary does in the kitchen is from love.

Mary beams, “I’m motivated when I see the smiles on the faces of the people who come through the line. I’m motivated when I see them enjoy the food. And they are grateful—people thank me for cooking all the time.”

Mary has been with us for four years and has implemented ways to love our guests even better. Where we used to offer just one main course, Mary’s kitchen now provides a choice of two or three main dishes with the menu posted on the whiteboard near the head of the line. She also offers grab-and-go items for guests to take for a snack later. Everything Mary coordinates is for the benefit and enjoyment of the people served by your generosity.

In addition to your donations, food comes from the Maryland Food Bank, farmers, grocery stores, and restaurants like Chick-Fil-A, Dutch’s Daughter, Panera, and High Point Catering. Mary is constantly impressed by all you provide: “We are so blessed to receive so much food!”

What Mary enjoys most about working here is the love the staff shows to her and each other. She recognizes that God directed her to the Mission and does all she can to fulfill His wishes. “God brought me here to do this work. Everybody has a purpose. This is His blessing to me, bringing me here.”

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