Our 3500 square foot licensed commercial kitchen, housed amid our facility, accommodates our need to:
- Process fresh fruits and vegetables for distribution to our partner cupboards and agencies
- Partner with Meals on Wheels
- Collaborate with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
- Prepare recipes as part of our Nutrition Education programs
- Repackage foods into family size portions for distribution to our partner cupboards and agencies
Often the hub of activity, our kitchen has two components: production and processing. Nearly 2000 volunteer hours are donated annually to make the work in the kitchen possible. Our team and many of our lead volunteers are ServSafe® certified and we adhere to all food safety regulations.
This is the traditional part of the commercial kitchen with the primary functions being cooking and preparation for distribution to our partner cupboards and agencies. From feeding tomatoes through a processor to make sauce, to testing butternut squash recipes for Taste It or portioning an entrée for Meals on Wheels, our kitchen is the vital ingredient to the network we serve.
Although our kitchen does not operate as a meal site for individuals, it does function to provide food and support to our partner agencies who then serve individuals and families.
Our kitchen is distinctive in that it includes a large preparation area that is specially designed to enable us to package fresh produce received from our growing programs and purchased at the farmers’ produce auction.
With the help of over 500 kitchen volunteers we process over 100,000 pounds of fresh produce for distribution through our network of partner food cupboards and agencies. During the peak of the harvest season (July – October) volunteers will process upwards of 2,000 pounds daily. We preserve by freezing a portion of the processed fresh produce to distribute through the winter months.
This temperature controlled part of the kitchen is primarily used to process fresh food but it allows us to be versatile in packaging other food whether purchased wholesale like rice or rescued from the food industry such as frozen meats.