Food & Drink

Salvation Army gets new mobile kitchen

A soup kitchen is always a welcome sight for emergency workers at a disaster scene, but the Salvation Army's new mobile kitchen can offer more than a bowl of hot soup and a cup of coffee.

Lexington's first fully equipped emergency mobile kitchen will be open to the public at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Whitaker Bank (Hamburg), 2001 Pleasant Ridge Drive, and from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza in Lexington.

Free hot dogs and beverages will be served.

The $100,000 state-of-the-art mobile kitchen is a gift from Whitaker Bank Corp.

“We believe in the work the Salvation Army does,” said Jack Whitaker, chairman of the bank's board. “When we were made aware of the need, we felt it was something we could do.

The kitchen can serve 2,500 meals a day. Salvation Army's prior mobile kitchen was nearly 30 years old and unreliable. When Comair Flight 5191 crashed in Lexington in 2006, the mobile kitchen that served food and drink to emergency workers and volunteers was borrowed from the Salvation Army in Richmond.

While the kitchen is state-of-the-art, there's still a lack of storage space for supplies needed at large disasters. But a solution for that is in the works.

“Our women's auxiliary have told us they will buy a trailer for us. We now have a box truck that we keep our supplies in, but the trailer will be right with the unit” because there's a trailer hitch on the mobile kitchen, Maj. Debra Ashcraft said.

The unit will serve Fayette, Jessamine and Scott counties, but it's also available to go to other parts of the state or out-of-state if needed. “Just as Richmond came to help us out, we can be deployed to another area,” Ashcraft said