Lake City soup kitchen volunteers serve over a thousand plates on Thanksgiving

The LAD Kitchen in Lake City serves Thanksgiving dinner to those in need for the past 31 years.
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 4:42 PM EST
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - Thanksgiving and Columbia County residents who are homeless, elderly, or just in need got fed at one soup kitchen that has been dishing out Thanksgiving plates for more than three decades.

The Suwannee River Valley Mission’s LAD Kitchen served over a thousand plates today from a tiny kitchen located at 127 NW Escambia St. in Lake City. Cleopatra Steele has run the kitchen and the mission for the past 31 years.

“Over a thousand we will be doing over a thousand. We divided up the city and Columbia county into north, south, east, and west. We have runners that go all directions to make sure everyone gets fed,” said Steele.

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Steele’s organization gets volunteers from all across North Central Florida. Larissa Bryant is just one of the dozens who spent a part of her Thanksgiving helping feed the less fortunate.

“This is my 13th year because the first year that I came was so rewarding. It was amazing like you be alone in your own little world and you don’t really know what be out here until you are in it,” said Bryant.

Carol Graham and her boyfriend Bobby Falagan were just two of the people who ate for free today. They take advantage of the LAD Kitchen’s free breakfasts and dinners as often as they can.

“We are so grateful for Miss Cleopatra and her team. Her team is excellent, They come in and they cook breakfast and they don’t hesitant. It’s not just homeless people it’s anybody who’s struggling really,” said Graham.

For those in need on Christmas, the mission will be offering free meals again, this time for the 17th year in a row.

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