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25 years of service to the Phinney soup kitchen

Michael Gregory, director of the Phinney Soup Kitchen at St. John Lutheran Church, will be honored next Sunday for his 25 years of service.
Gregory began volunteering at the soup kitchen in 1984, when it was run by the Fremont Public Association (FPA), and quickly became the director of the meal program. The Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) took over the program in 1999.
On Tuesday and Wednesdays, you’ll still find Michael in the St. John kitchen – unpacking donated food, directing volunteers, and cooking.
In a press release, Gregory reminisced about the many changes in the past 25 years:

“In those days, we were serving 25-30 people at our one meal on Wednesday. Today, it is not uncommon for us to serve 150 to 200 meals in a day. I love to take whatever food comes in and turn it into something. The feedback is immediate; I have heard people say a thousand times that this is the only meal they had today and that it was really good.”

Gregory will be honored at the Sunday, Sept. 27, 10:30 a.m. service at St. John United Lutheran, 5515 Phinney Ave. N., followed by a celebratory coffee hour. He’ll also be honored during soup kitchen meals the following week: Monday, Sept. 28, at 12 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran, 7002 23rd Ave. NW (the program’s second site), and Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 12 p.m. at St. John United.
The PNA soup kitchens receive some city funding, as well as donations from Food Lifeline and Northwest Harvest. They also depend on community support. On Thursday, Oct. 1, 20 Phinney-Greenwood restaurants will donate a portion of their sales to the soup kitchens as part of the 7th annual “Phabulous Phinney Pig Out.” Check out the list of participating restaurants.
Photo by Raul Campoverde.