#HCS: Grace Welcome Center cuts ribbon on new cooler, celebrates anniversary

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“God, we sit in this basement in Grace Welcome Center ready to see you in our midst. Open our eyes and our hearts to greet you and all that come this day.”

KENOSHA ⏤ Those were the closing words of Pastor Kevin Beebe’s prayer in the Grace Welcome Center basement Wednesday as the pantry cut the ribbon on its new walk-in cooler. 

Video property of Daniel Thompson/The Uptown Observer.

There, Beebe, Grace Lutheran Church Pastor Jonathan Barker, officials and community members cut the ribbon on Grace’s new walk-in cooler. Tim Somers donated the complete funds to purchase the walk-in cooler, now housed in the center’s basement.

Pantry director Denise Russell says the new cooler will allow Grace to offer more produce to its patrons weekly.

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A milestone for Grace Welcome

However, Wednesday also served as the anniversary of a milestone for the center. It marked four years since the center opened its doors in Uptown.

From humble beginnings, the center has grown in both services and volunteers, and is regularly involved in efforts to help the community

Video property of Daniel Thompson/The Uptown Observer.

In his remarks, Barker expressed his own excitement at the future assistance Grace can offer the community now with the cooler.

“This feels like one of those moments that will be remembered for a very long time. This walk-in cooler is going to enable us to give so much produce to the families of this community. Milk, dairy, vegetables, fruit, meat ⏤ all of this wonderful food.”

Pastor Jonathan Barker, Grace Lutheran Church

Not only do the center’s guests ask for fresh produce each week, but Grace staff and volunteers know fresh food leads to better health outcomes as well.

“So there’s tremendous benefit, not just to the people coming each week and who get the blessing of fresh food, but it’s humbling to think about what this will mean for the years and the decades ahead.”

Below, watch some of the remarks given by local aldermen, Denise Russell of Grace Welcome, state Sen. Bob Wirch and more.

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