Mother Marianne's Westside Kitchen celebrates fifth anniversary

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Mother Marianne's Westside Kitchen on Columbia Street in Utica opened in March of 2008.

On Sunday, volunteer Fred Rode, who has been with the organization since its inception didn't do much celebrating, he says he is just continued to do what Mother Marianne Cope and now Saint Marianne Cope would have wanted he and others to do, just continue to serve the community.

Sunday morning, Rode was filling paper bags with two tuna sandwiches, an orange and a small packaged chocolate brownie for anyone that stopped by. He said, "It makes me feel good because I am one step away from being homeless myself. I think it"s great the soup kitchen has done great work on the west side of Utica."

The Westside Kitchen is open Monday through Friday for sit down meals from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., but on Saturday and Sunday, it is only open for pickup during the same hours.

Rode says the Westside Kitchen lives on in the honor of Mother Marianne Cope, who was canonized a Saint in October.

In 1883, at the age of 45, Cope went to Hawaii and cared for those with leprosy when no one else would.

She grew up in Utica and attended school in the very same building where the Westside Kitchen is run out of, the old St. Joseph's School on Columbia Street.

Rode says he hopes with the help of the any volunteers and good people here in Utica, Mother Marianne's Westside Kitchen will continue to serve those in need forever.

Rode says Mother Marianne's Westside Kitchen can always use donations of non perishable food items.

If you would like to help the cause, just bring your donations down to the kitchen between 11:30 and 12:30, seven days a week.

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