Greensboro Chicken Lady big birthday thank you for feeding homeless (friends) and caring, Recycling love


From the Greensboro News Record August 1, 2017.

“Greensboro’s ‘Chicken Lady’ gets big birthday thank you from community

On Tuesday afternoon, about 40 people showed up at a vacant shop downtown to eat a free meal.

The meal was a welcome respite.

The men, women and children that came are all challenged in some way by not being able to afford regular meals or stable housing.

 The meal came with a special dessert —birthday cake.

They met for food and cake for a special reason, to celebrate Amy Murphy‘s 60th birthday.

Murphy has become a staunch advocate for those challenged by homelessness. For over four years, she has served a free fried-chicken meal, donated by a local Church’s Chicken, to about 60 to 80 people on Monday mornings at Center City Park.

Murphy, with the help of Greensboro Urban Ministry, Cone Health and United Healthcare, also distributes two booklets to help people find food. The Little Green Book lists organizations that offer free meals throughout the week. The Little Blue Book provides information on food pantries.

She has become known as “The Chicken Lady” because of the silly chicken hat she wears during the meals.

Some, like Betty Patterson, just call her “mama.”

It was Patterson’s idea to have a birthday gathering for Murphy. Patterson, or Miss Betty as she’s called, wanted to return the favor for Murphy taking her to lunch for her own birthday.

“She’s always doing something. She’s helping someone. She’s taking someone to the grocery store. Her answering machine is always full,” Patterson said. “We can’t pay her, but we can show her our appreciation.””

““She’s a blessing to Greensboro. It’s a wonderful gathering. It is great fun and fellowship,” said Mike Robinson, who has been going to the Center City Park meals since Murphy started them.

“It takes teamwork to make the dream work. These people keep this community going,” said friend Lawrence Crommie as he gestured at the volunteers serving food.

Murphy was clearly overwhelmed by the shower of gratitude.

“It’s been an amazing and incredible journey,” she said, fighting back tears.

She says the people she has met through her efforts have become her friends.

“There’s a big difference between being behind the serving line and being among these people,” Murphy said. “I don’t like the word ‘homeless.’ You feed a baby or a dog. I don’t feed the homeless. I serve people food, just as if they were in my house. We’re all the same.””

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