POINT PLEASANT — Peas and carrots, bacon and eggs, butter and everything – some things are just “better together.”
“Better Together” is a slogan Pleasant Valley Hospital became familiar with when establishing an affiliation with Cabell Huntington Hospital, and now, the PVH Auxiliary has welcomed The Kitchen Table into its organization.
The Kitchen Table began back in February, born from the idea that making room for one more person, one meal at a time, might be a bit of kindness, and sustenance, the community needed. Starting out small but certainly not slow, The Kitchen Table began serving free meals out of The Meeting House and then held a standing-room-only fundraiser which brought all facets of the community out to support their neighbors, with the Inaugural Lip Sync Battle, also held at The Meeting House.
Following, were more community meals and the establishment of a summer meals program for children called the “Kid’s Kafe,” where members of The Kitchen Table travel to multiple locations across the county, on the same day, and feed children at the same time. So far, since the “Kid’s Kafe” started in June, over 400 free meals have already been distributed to area children.
The efforts did not go unnoticed and The Kitchen Table began talking with PVH and its auxiliary about joining forces – the general consensus was, they could be “better together.”
“I’m extremely pleased to have this organization join our auxiliary and become part of its efforts to reach the community,” Glen Washington, FACHE, PVH CEO, said on Friday. “They will fit in well with the goals of our auxiliary volunteers.”
Washington also specifically spoke about the “Kid’s Kafe” program and how it reflected a common goal between the hospital and auxiliary members, to provide outreach to children, stressing healthy eating and meeting nutritional needs.
“Hunger is easily overlooked,” Washington said, talking about the food insecurity in the region.
The Kitchen Table will keep its name but has taken on the role of the auxiliary’s community outreach committee.
Beverly Ridenour, president of the PVH Auxiliary, said she was excited for the outreach programs these new auxiliary members will bring to the table.
“I’m glad we’ve joined forces to fulfill needs in the community,” Ridenour said.
As leaders of the auxiliary’s community outreach committee, the hope is, The Kitchen Table’s reach will now be even further, supported by this new partnership with PVH and its auxiliary.
As for The Kitchen Table, its volunteers echoed the same sentiments on Friday when this new chapter was announced for their big idea that began small, only a few months ago. That sentiment being, “together is always better” when it comes to what happens around The Kitchen Table.
The Kitchen Table volunteers are already planning some major fundraising events to feed the community as well as promote outreach and fellowship among neighbors. The next “Kid’s Kafe” event will be from noon to 1 p.m., Friday, July 15 with a free lunch served simultaneously at Ashton Baptist Church in Ashton, PVH Wellness Center in Point Pleasant, New Haven Fire Department in New Haven, Pleasant Valley Apartments in Point Pleasant. The summer meals program is for children ages 18 and under.
The next free community meal will be from 5-8 p.m., July 23 in the parking lot at the PVH Wellness Center. The meal will feature a cookout and live music.
Then, at 6 p.m., Aug. 20 at the PPJ/SHS Wedge Auditorium, “Lip Sync Battle: The Sequel” will be presented. The lineup is being finalized and will be announced soon.
The Pleasant Valley Hospital Auxiliary was organized in 1959 to provide volunteer services, promote community understanding and raise funds for PVH. For more information about donating time and talent with Pleasant Valley Hospital’s Auxiliary, or to donate to the auxiliary’s community outreach committee, The Kitchen Table, please call 304-675-4340. Also, The Kitchen Table and PVH can be followed on Facebook.