Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

July 14, 2014

Chuckwagon ready to roll

Stops are set in Carter Tuesday and Thursday

WILLARD — For the first time in two years, Papaw’s Chuckwagon will again be rolling into Carter County communities to provide meals for families.

Organizer Ed Caudill said he believes the menu for the chuckwagon’s initial runs will be well received.

“It’s something I think a whole lot of country people will like — soup beans cooked with smoked ham, sauerkraut, weiners, fried potatoes and cornbread,” Caudill said.

After the prolonged suspension of food services, Caudill said he is now working with God’s Pantry in Lexington and must provide a more accurate estimate of the community’s needs, prompting a delivery run from Willard through the Huff’s Run and Hitchins communities on Tuesday, and another to include numerous apartment complexes in Grayson on Thursday.

Tuesday’s first stop will be 11 a.m. at Willard Wesleyan Church, Caudill said, stopping to provide meals at other places along the way and making announcements on the chuckwagon’s built-in public-address system to let people know to come share the meals.

“We will be visible,” Caudill said. “We have all the bells, whistles and sirens. Once we pull up, we can be heard two or three blocks away.”

Thursday’s route will include roughly a dozen stops in Grayson, starting at 11 a.m. at Town Branch Apartments.

“We are getting a final count of how many people we expect to serve once we finally get started,” Caudill said, explaining rules require 51 percent of those served to be under the national poverty level, which could include nearly 70 percent of the county’s population. The initial runs will also be important to factor in families with children, who are now out of school, he said.

“It will grow,” he said.

Following the end of the community’s Meals on Wheels program, Caudill said the crew at Papaw’s Kitchen and Papaw’s Chuckwagon is in need of volunteers, as well as financial support for insurance and gasoline, and meats not provided by God’s Pantry. The chuckwagon and kitchen are Carter County's newest 501(c)3 public charity, a nonprofit organization (retroactive to August 2012), Caudill said.

“We realize that the economy has not improved over the past couple of years and that there is not a lot of extra money to be spent. We also know that because of this there are families that are having trouble putting food on their tables. It is for this reason that we are restarting our efforts to raise funds and to get our free lunch program via the mobile soup kitchen back on the road,” Caudill said.

“We have been and will continue to hold special functions at the kitchen, conduct carry-concealed-deadly-weapons classes, and now that summer is here, we are allowing free setups for yard sales, flea markets and used pistol and rifle sales.

“We have over two acres of freshly mowed grass, some shaded and some out in the sun. You can set up canopies and must furnish your own tables and chairs or work off your truck bed, trailer or trunk of your car. The restaurant will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. each Saturday serving breakfast and lunch for those selling/trading, buying or just browsing or looking for a bite to eat. This is all in preparation for restarting our mobile soup kitchen, which will be serving free, hot, nutritious meals in the surrounding communities.”

For more information, or to volunteer or offer support, call (606) 474-5514.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com.

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