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Salvation Army cook wins title of best chili

by Lori Dunn | March 10, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.
Lamont King starts preparing for the 5 p.m. meal at the Salvation Army. King helped the Salvation Army win best chili at the recent Texarkana Homeless Coalition’s chili cook-off. (Staff photo by Lori Dunn)

TEXARKANA -- Lamont King cooks daily for nearly 200 people and the practice has paid off.

King, the cook at the Texarkana Salvation Army's Center of Hope Homeless Shelter, won the prize of best chili at the recent Texarkana Homeless Coalition's Bridge City Project Chili Cook-off.

"Lamont cooks daily for the homeless that reside in our family shelter, in addition to the homeless that live on our streets. That is around 150 meals a day," said Sann Terry, spokeswoman for the Salvation Army.

King said he grew up cooking in a large family. He has six brothers and two sisters.

He has been cooking for the Salvation Army for almost seven years.

His secret recipe? "It's love," he said. "If you cook with love it always turns out good."

The annual chili cook-off challenges members of the community or organizations to enter their best chili in the competition.

The purpose of the cook-off is to raise funds for projects that help the homeless.

Chef Jeff Loving won for the restaurant category, Texarkana, Texas, Planning and Community Development Department won for best theme and Texarkana Board of Realtors won the people's choice award, according to organizer Vashil Fernandez.

Every year the Department of Housing and Urban Development requires all homeless coalitions to count the number of homeless individuals by the last week in January.

The PIT count offers insight into understanding the local homeless population, its current needs, and provide data to secure future funding for programs that combat homelessness.

The results from the count were unavailable at presstime Thursday.

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