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St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall serves up 900 meals, twice a day, 7 days a week

Zero Hunger Hero: Catholic Community Services
Posted at 1:58 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 15:58:31-04

900 meals, twice a day, seven days a week. That's what Kitchen Manager Gerry Runyan, his six cooks and an army of volunteers do at Catholic Community Services.

Part of the meals are served in the dining hall of St. Vincent De Paul. The rest of the food is delivered to other homeless resource centers.

Runyan says because about 95 percent of the food he uses is donated from different community groups and grocery stores, the menu is never the same.

"You have to be very creative," he says. "We sort through the product until we have enough that we can make a meal with and the cooks and I will go through freezers and refrigerators and say, OK, I've got this and this and this, we can make this out of it and so it's kind of fun," Runyan continues.

Runyan has been a cook before, but says the work he's doing at Catholic Community Services is different and more rewarding.

"With a set menu, you kind of get stuck in a routine making the same things over and over again, but this is where you have to be really creative and you have to be able to be flexible," he says.

You can tell he's passionate about what he does and who he does it for.

"It's really important, just to give them a chance to come in, sit down, and maybe forget about everything else that's going on in their lives for a moment, kinda like we all get to do with our families, right?" Runyan says.

And it's that reason that he was chosen as the Zero Hunger Hero for the month of June from Smith's Food & Drug and Fox 13.

Runyon says they're always looking for volunteers from individuals to families to church groups and businesses. If you'd like to help, visit: ccsutah.org/get-involved/volunteer.