Love Kitchen sisters thank Oprah Winfrey for 25 years of helping others

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – On the day of the Oprah Winfrey Show finale, it was natural to go back to the Love Kitchen in East Knoxville.

Helen Ashe and her sister, Ellen Turner, who run the kitchen, were featured during Oprah’s last season.

More: Stories from the Love Kitchen

The sisters say the February 3 taping of the show and meeting Oprah was really a trip of a lifetime.

“It was like a dream,” Helen said. “We had watched her and everything. Meeting her was just like a dream come true. She is so friendly and nice and easy.”

Ellen nodded in agreement.

The sisters were featured on the show because of their involvement in the ABC show “Secret Millionaire.”

Many in East Tennessee watched as millionaire Dani Johnson gave the Love Kitchen a $20,000 check.

But when Oprah learned of the sisters, she sweetened the pot even more. During the taping Oprah said, “So we called our friends at Kroger. The Kroger store is giving the Love Kitchen a year supply of food and new kitchen counter-top appliances.”

In all the excitement on stage that day, the sisters first thought they would have to load the carts of food on a plane back to Tennessee.

“When they brought out all those groceries, I thought how we going to get that out of here?” Ellen said. “How we going to get that on an airplane?”

Turns out, it was really $5,000 a month for the sisters to spend at Kroger, and they have already started shopping.

They call the gift “a blessing,” and while Oprah wrapped up her run on daytime television, the sisters have a message for her.

“I want to thank her for what she done to help so many people, ” Helen said. “Wherever she is, she’s always in my thoughts and my prayers. Such a blessing!”

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