PITTSBURG — The community is welcomed to indulge in a warm bowl of chili, soup and homemade pie on Thursday at Memorial Auditorium for the 30th Annual Project Warmth.

Project Warmth is a fundraiser sponsored by the Pittsburg Ministerial Association, which helps raise money for people in need of assistance with their utility bills.

Over the past 30 years, the ministries have helped over 1,000 people, and last year alone the event raised $10,000 — which helped pay the utilities for 86 Crawford County families — with the help of the chili, soup and pie feed, along with donations made by businesses.

“Last year, $10,000 was raised to help folks who are having a difficult time to meet utility bills,” St. John Lutheran Pastor Tom Wehrman said.

Wehrman said according to the Kansas Food Bank, 71 percent of pantry goers have to make a decision of purchasing food or paying utilities.

The money raised goes to distributing agencies, the Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army, in which a caseworker is assigned to allocate those funds for the people in need.

Wehrman said the event is made possible by the ministries involved and the businesses, organizations, groups and individuals which will volunteer during the event — including Sodexo who will be providing the chili, Via Christi Nutritional Services bringing the soup and Crawford County Mental Health serving beverages. Signet will bring coffee, and Marrone’s will bring items to share.

The event will take place twice on Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the lower level of Memorial Auditorium.

Tickets cost $6 for adults and $3 for children 10 and younger.  Cash or check only.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.