Radio cooking show raises over $600 for homeless shelter

Amelia Holliday — Staff Reporter

December 21, 2013

HAZARD—The hosts of “the world’s only live radio cooking show (that we know of)” used some of their celebrity to help raise money for a local homeless shelter Tuesday night.

Jenny Williams and Jonathan Piercy host “What’s Cookin’ Now!” on Whitesburg’s WMMT Radio the first Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. Piercy said the two have been holding events for their Christmas shows for a number of years, inviting more friends and family than normal to attend and celebrate the holiday with them.

“The idea to do it as a benefit just sort of came to us as we were thinking about doing it this year,” the apron-clad Piercy said during the prep time before Tuesday’s live-to-tape recording. “We do the show for a nonprofit station and they’re, not only are they a nonprofit in their own right, I mean they raise their own money, but they’re also very involved in the community and that sort of thing. So, we think that it’s a great chance to give back.”

William’s said the most obvious choice for them to help give back to was Community Ministries’ Corner Haven homeless shelter in Hazard. In May of last year, the shelter was forced to temporarily cut back services due to a lack of funding, but was able to fully reopen in November thanks to generous donations.

“We spend, frankly, hundreds of dollars every month feeding people, both of us do,” Williams said. “So, we thought we might as well ask them to give us a little and give back a little bit.”

Those who attended the taping of the show were asked to donate at least $10 to the shelter. Piercy said after all was said and done the event raised over $640.

Adrienne Bush, executive director of Community Ministries, said she was very excited when Piercy and Williams came to her with the idea for the benefit, and added that she’s happy whenever the shelter is able to get additional donations.

“We thought it was a great idea. ‘What’s Cookin’ Now!’ is a wonderful show, and the idea of opening it up so that people from the community can come in and also be able to talk a little bit about homelessness and rural Eastern Kentucky is a great opportunity,” Bush said at the event.

Williams said she and Piercy want to continue giving back with their show, planning to host at least four benefit events a year, including one for the homeless shelter.

“We have an audience, sometimes a small one sometimes a large one, and if we can use what we do — which we do for fun — for good then we want to do that,” she said.