Start of Samaritan Kitchen recounted
In the late-1900s, the deacons of First Baptist Church of North Wilkesboro voted to let the newly-organized Samaritan Kitchen use the church’s small fellowship to begin a food kitchen for Wilkes County.
A group of concerned citizens became the founding board for the organization. They were Helen Shinaman, Chloe Sturdivant, Rev. Nelson Granade, Rev. Harry Sellars, Gretchen Barelski, Jim Swofford, Judith Anderson, Doug Brown and others. This continued in the church for several years until growth was needed.
Samaritan Kitchen has expanded greatly through the years and now has its own facilities and a fulltime director, Dick Johnston. The organization’s backpack program has been successful in feeding young children through the weekends.
The Wilkes Journal-Patriot played a big role in getting this program underway. From the beginning, they reported the meetings and announced the community events. The newspaper has provided important services for our county.