'The chicken man' changes lives

By Lindsay English - bio | email
Posted By Allane Paulley - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - With all the bad news we hear each day - layoffs, the slumping economy and rising costs - it's easy to get a little down. But as WAVE 3's Lindsay English reports, one man took a low point and turned it into a life-changing event.

On Saturday afternoons, you'll usually find Curtis Taylor in the kitchen of the St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church. "When I do this, this makes me feel a lot better," says Taylor.

What he's cooking up is no once a year feast. Curtis and his team of volunteers will be back in the kitchen doing it all again next week, because the people he'll be serving are always in need. "I see that people are actually hungry," Curtis said. "When you give them a plate, it's gone. Nothing is wasted."

A few years back, Curtis says he was going through what he calls a crisis. He was depressed, sitting in his car, not sure what would happen next, when he saw something that changed his life. "For some reason, in the midst of praying and going through it in my mind, I happened to look out of the corner of my eye and I see a homeless guy getting half of a hamburger out of a garbage can. So at that moment, it seemed like all the problems that I had totally went away."

The experience stuck with Curtis and when he noticed extra food left over after church events, he would load up the trunk of his car, go out and feed the homeless.

Curtis says "something that started out basically from the heart, has grown to be more than just my desire to feed the homeless." It has blossomed into a ministry. Now instead of serving out of the trunk of his car, he sets up inside the Salvation Army and people line up for hot food from "The Chicken Man," a reference to his most frequently served entrée.

"It's actually a very good thing that he does, 'cause a lot of people in the community has never been to this point, and they don't understand what it feels like to only get one or two meals a day or to not get a meal at all," said a woman named Jessica, who was served Saturday.

Curtis now calls his ministry "Loaves and Fishes." It not only feeds the homeless but also distributes clothes and even furniture for folks trying to get back on their feet. While he does get a lot of support from the St. Francis in the Fields congregation, he's always looking for volunteers to keep his vision moving forward.