Robert Gamache (right), a volunteer with Angel Resource Connection, hands over a dish of food to some of the more than 100 students who were served hot meals at the Granite Falls Boys & Girls Club. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Robert Gamache (right), a volunteer with Angel Resource Connection, hands over a dish of food to some of the more than 100 students who were served hot meals at the Granite Falls Boys & Girls Club. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Serving up a heaping helping of kindness in Granite Falls

Local businesses team with a nonprofit to provide monthly meals for children.

Kathryn Barth, 13, spent an evening making snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies, guided by her grandmother’s recipe.

At the Granite Falls IGA, Jamie Flint, food service manager, and deli coworker Lana Stowell showed up an hour early for their 7 a.m. shift to begin hot food preparations for an early Christmas meal — turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and green beans.

So all was ready when more than 100 kids began to file into the Granite Falls Boys & Girls Club last week on a very wet afternoon. The smell of warm food greeting them as they entered.

Volunteers from the nonprofit group Angel Resource Connection stood nearby, ready to scoop up individual portions for each student.

But before the meal began, Penelope Protheroe, who leads the group, told students that the meal was meant to underscore a “be kind” message.

“It really is simple to be kind to one another and make someone else smile,” she told them. “We see you as great kids and want to do something special for you.”

As students lined up to be served, one exclaimed: “This made my day.”

“This made my day,” one student exclaimed as he stood in line for the hot meal. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

“This made my day,” one student exclaimed as he stood in line for the hot meal. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

That joy was shared by the volunteers who were serving the students.

“So many smiling faces,” said Isaac Uselman, 21, of Sammamish, who is studying computer science at Western Governors University. He joined his father, Karl Uselman, to help out at the event.

“That’s what it’s all about — lots of happy smiles,” Issac Uselman said.

Robert Gamache, of Granite Falls, said he heard a lot of thank-yous as students were served up their food. “It’s kind of inspiring,” he said. “They really appreciate it.”

Angel Resource Connection was founded by Protheroe, of Granite Falls, in 2017 to serve the homeless with food and other resources.

The group began providing once-a-month meals at the Boys & Girls Club this year. Local businesses also have stepped up to help, including Alfy’s Pizza and Subway, prior to IGA’s donation of a Christmas dinner.

Robert Gamache, of Granite Falls, said he heard a lot of thank-yous as students were served up their food. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Robert Gamache, of Granite Falls, said he heard a lot of thank-yous as students were served up their food. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Diners at last week’s meal gave the food rave reviews.

Autumn, 11, said the meal “reminds me of Thanksgiving. I also love the mashed potatoes.”

Spencer, 13, said the meal was especially appreciated, “served at the end of the school day when you’re hungry.”

“It’s really good,” Kailee, 7, said of the meal. “All I wanted was a cookie.”

Abbison, 7, was sitting next to her brother, Athen, 6, who was wearing a red-and-green elf hat made of paper.

When asked how she would spread the “be kind” message that volunteers hoped the children would hear, she said: “By saying ‘thank you.’”

The meal program will continue in the new year with donations from Buzz Inn, Teriyaki Wok, Playa Azul, McDonald’s, Subway and IGA, Protheroe said.

Flint, who prepared the food at the IGA store, said the four hours of prep time was well worth the effort.

“Definitely, they got a lot of fun out of it,” he said. “It’s good for the kids.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com.

More information

Lean more about Angel Resource Connection at www.angelresourceconnection.org or by calling 425-496-7711.

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