Love Kitchen sisters receive surprise just in time for the holidays

8:23 PM, Nov 15, 2012   |    comments
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The bustling Love Kitchen dishes out 3,000 meals a week to Knoxville's hungry and homebound.

"This wonderful organization keeps growing, keeps growing and we want to keep up with the growth," said founder Helen Ashe. She and her 84-year-old twin sister, Ellen Turner, had a vision 25 years ago. Today they are the heart and soul of The Love Kitchen.

But you can't forget the army of volunteers that pitch in.

For the past three months, groups of employees from the restaurant chain, Texas Roadhouse, have been there two days each week.

"We do food, they do food. So we thought it was a good match. We came down here and checked it out one day and we've been in love ever since," said Marketing Manager and volunteer, Ron Houser.

It didn't take long for Houser and the other volunteers to notice one of the kitchen's major appliances was not only old, but too small for their growing need.

"It's worn out 'bout like I am," Helen joked.

"On our first couple visits down here we all agreed that we needed to add an oven to help expedite some of the cooking and things, said Houser.

Thursday, Texas Roadhouse made it happen. The company donated a large double industrial convection oven.

"You just don't know what a blessing this is honey!" Helen said.

Right in time for Thanksgiving, the new oven will help their operation run a lot smoother and faster.

"All that dressing and cornbread we're going to make...Oh lord!" Ellen said. "I thank all of you... All you of you so much!"

The Board President, Patrick Riggins, said the need in the community has grown by 60% this year alone and 125% in the past two years.

You can volunteer or donate to The Love Kitchen by visiting

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