Volunteers Serve Food for Summerset Residents

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The volunteers at Summerset Village apartments helped to served the hundreds of residents who have been shivering in the cold and unable to cook.

The portable kitchen was brought in Wednesday and the first of what will be many meals were served to the, mostly Southeast Asian, residents Friday. Feeding more than a thousand people requires lots of chopping, cutting and, of course, cooking. But on Thanksgiving day turkey and cranberries are not on the menu.

"Today, I have baked chicken and baby bok choy and rice and fried chicken today," cook Steven Moungieng said. "Tonight, I have beef with baby bok choy and stir-fried mushrooms."

Chef Steve lives in the complex and has been overseeing the operation. Volunteers from the Southern Baptist convention and their affiliated local churches are working with the residents to prepare the food. "You know we just want to come and help everybody in need," volunteer Lieke Chandra said.

Hot food is good, but the big problem remains a lack of heat in the apartments.

"We need a heater," apartment resident Christy Phou said. "Electric heater and especially the blankets or jackets here for us, because a lot of people have no money to buy a lot of things."

But residents are being asked not to use electric space heaters because of fire dangers and electrical problems with the buildings. Efforts are underway to deliver new electric blankets, but right now the food is hot and the residents are grateful for that.

Thursday is the first day food was served here and the kitchen is expected to be in place for at least three weeks until new gas lines are installed to the apartments.

The property owner said work will start Tuesday, and if it doesn't happen the city will take over the work.
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