The Good News Community Kitchen is now open in Occoquan.
The non-profit held its ribbon cutting with the Prince William Chamber of Commerce at their location at 308 Poplar Alley #B last night.
Run by Army veteran and Veterans Affairs employee Mercedes Kirkland-Doyle, the non-profit began as an idea from her childhood days.
“As we were preparing for confirmation…we had to revitalize our soup kitchen…and it was after that first experience where I had to hand a toddler a bag of soup and a sandwich that I kind of fell in love with helping others,” said Kirkland-Doyle.
Kirkland-Doyle said that during her time in the Army she took part in community outreach, but when she returned to the civilian world, she wanted to find more ways to give back.
“Finally, last year I just had all of the signs coming together that said okay ‘Now is the time. Start writing your policies, your bylaws – learn the area’ and I just did it. And thankfully I had a group of supportive friends and colleagues who supported my dream,” said Kirkland-Doyle.
Good News Community Kitchen will have a mobile meals program to feed people in the community, an emergency food pantry, a program that provides hygiene products to the unsheltered in Prince William, they will provide professional attire to individuals transitioning back into the workforce, a resume writing workshop for veterans, makeovers for women transitioning back into the workforce, and coat and blanket distribution in the winter, according to Kirkland-Doyle.
Already several community organizations have stepped up to get Good News Community Kitchen off the ground.
A four woman team from the Dale City Home Depot came to the non-profit’s location in Occoquan and helped her to renovate and beautify the space, said Kirkland-Doyle.
The Lake Ridge Rotary Club also sponsored the ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration for the kickoff of the organization.
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