These Two Women Cooked Thousands of Meals to Feed People in Need

Divine inspiration led these Alabama friends to rise, shine and feed the hungry with grits, eggs and a whole lotta love from above.

My friend Lisa Latham and I started Grace’s Kitchen in 2009 when we both felt a calling to feed the hungry and share our faith. So after 16 years at a food magazine, I quit my job and started serving people hot breakfasts in a local park in Birmingham.

We also make meals for two men’s rehab and residential facilities in the area. We prepare our meals in a commercial kitchen that was donated to us rent-free by a board member. It’s all volunteer and nonprofit, and all the money from donations goes toward buying fresh food. Each week we serve 250 to 300 meals and spend about $600.

Up next: Don’t miss our favorite healthy big-batch meals you’ll feel good about serving.

Woman and man talking with plastic bags in his armsCourtesy PAULA HUGHES

My food isn’t fancy, but people seem to like what I make. It’s fun cooking on a larger scale and creating recipes as we go. We serve balanced meals, talk to everybody and ask what we can pray about for them, and they say it’s a privilege. Most have never known that anyone was praying for them, so if we can help nourish the body and the soul, that makes all the difference. It’s very rewarding work.

Paula’s Cheesy Grits

Taste of Home

As a comfy side dish, cheese grits have great potential but sometimes need a flavor boost. For add-ins, try red pepper flakes, fresh rosemary or crushed garlic.

Total Time: 25 min.

Makes: 8 servings


  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup uncooked old-fashioned grits
  • 2 to 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine milk, broth and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add salt. Whisk in grits; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until creamy, 15-20 minutes.
  2. Stir in cheese until melted. Season with pepper and additional salt to taste.

Inspired by Paula and Lisa’s story? Help your neighbors in need by getting involved with Feeding America. Contact your local food bank to find out how you can best support it now.

Next up: Here are our favorite ways to give back by cooking.

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Originally Published in Taste of Home