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Volunteering at St. Benedict’s Men’s Shelter – A Fulfilling and Filling Experience [Meatloaf Recipe Included]

Flickr Creative Commons - RandyChiu

by Kathleen Albin

Last week I had an extraordinary experience. My friend asked me to volunteer with her to serve a meal for the guests at St. Benedict’s Men’s Shelter. I jumped at the chance because it fulfilled two activities I enjoy: cooking and volunteering. With her handling the vegetable side of it, I decided to tackle… meatloaf.

This conclusion was not without consideration. I’m not originally from around these parts, but in my observation, Owensboro is meatloaf country. I guess you could say everyone likes the savory concoction, but from what I can see Owensboro is REEEEALLY serious about meatloaf. You see it at potlucks, it’s on the menus at local restaurants, people around here talk about it – maybe not as much as barbeque, but it’s out there. Assuming it was probably a while since it made the the rounds at the shelter (if ever) and the fact I make a killer meatloaf made it an easy choice.

Walmart was kind enough to assist me with a gift card, so with 15 lb. of hamburger, I went to work. I never saw so much hamburger in my life, but they baked up beautifully. At the end of the meal that evening the compliments rolled in; music to a cook’s ears. My friend and I decided if asked to cook again for the shelter, we’re just going to stick with the meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy plan. We figure that’s the way Aunt Bee would have done, and we’re not going to mess with a good thing.

If you would like to volunteer with St. Ben’s Men’s Shelter in companionship, kitchen, meal provider, housekeeping, clerical, grounds, maintenance, or even with prayer ministry, visit their volunteer page at

Momkat’s Meatloaf

  • 2 lb. hamburger
  • 2/3 C. dry bread crumbs
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 c. condensed tomato soup
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1/2 green pepper, cut into strips
  • ketchup

Mix all of the above well and pat into a 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan. Arrange bacon strips & green pepper on top, and squirt ketchup over all, like you would a hot dog. Bake 1 hr. at 350 degrees, removing to drain any fat that might accumulate during baking process. Enjoy!

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