Hundreds of homeless people are expected at the Eugene Mission this Christmas. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, it’ll be the first meal served inside the mission’s new kitchen…after its last one was destroyed in a fire this summer.
Last-minute preparations are underway…first, inside the mission, where workers assemble a new serving line, grill area, and range hood. Work lights illuminate the glass and silver surfaces.
Then there’s prep in the temporary kitchen, a trailer parked across the street. Here, cranberries, hams, and potatoes, are being readied for Christmas Day.
Assistant Kitchen Manager Robert Murhley is excited to leave the temp kitchen for the new one.
“This has served its purpose, but we’re so done with it!" he laughs.
"It was just not enough room for more than two people in here at a time, so makes it kinda rough sometimes.”
Marshall Eck is the mission’s Director of Food Services. He figures the new kitchen costs between $300,000 to $500,000, much of that in donations. He says staffers are ready to move in.
“At about at that three-month mark we were starting to feel the fatigue of just operating in those conditions. But we persevered, and the team has just found this new bit of joy to cling onto.”
Between 400 to 600 people are expected Christmas Day. Besides food, guests will receive gloves, toiletries, and other necessities.