NORTHUMBERLAND, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The drive to help those in need and give them a warm meal are the reasons behind a mobile soup kitchen making its return in Northumberland County.
Chopping up hundreds of pounds of ingredients, it’s a well-oiled machine at the Bowers family home in Northumberland.
Piecing together a packed lunch menu with protein, vegetables, and even something sweet; it’s something Pastor James Boers says is all for feeding those facing hunger.
“We were asked one time why we cook so early and stuff and you know, it don’t cook by itself.”
The four-course meal makes its way from the kitchen to the bus ready to hit the road and return as god’s chuckwagon.
The mobile soup kitchen was started in the early 2000s by Pastor James and his wife Janet. Later on, they would add a sous chef, 4-year-old Arieona.
Serving around 30,000 people in Northumberland County for nearly two decades, providing more than just a meal.
Pastor Bowers reflects on helping one woman who came to them for help as she was being abused at home and facing substance abuse.
“She came back and after six months of not seeing her, she said, ‘I am six months clear and clean. Thank you so much,’ and gave us the biggest hug.”
God’s Chuckwagon stopped operations back in May due to the pair facing health issues, but they decided to hit the road again after seeing a spike in need.
The helping hand is something near and dear to Pastor Bowers, as he previously struggled with alcoholism and was homeless.
“I was living on a park bench and that’s why this means so much to me. I know what it’s like to go hungry and I want people to know they can change.”
Offering a meal, a blessing bag with toiletries, and good faith, God’s Chuckwagon will be at Memorial Acres in Sunbury every Monday from noon to 1 p.m.
God’s Chuckwagon is looking for donations. If you would like to contribute monetary donations or food supplies, you can send them to 3230 Ridge Road, Northumberland, PA 17857, or contact them on their Facebook page.