For many of us, welcome to a second March in quarantine. We hope this spring will bring better times.

At the Columbia County Recovery Kitchen, we are about to mark a full year of chopping, sizzling, stirring, dicing, and in short. . .  cooking for those in our community who have been hit with terrible food shortages.

Hunger is horrible

Hungry child
Children in our community are hungry.

We all know the glory, from childhood and beyond, of coming into a house redolent with the aroma of cookies, a stew burbling on a back burner, garlic sizzling in a hot pan or hot chocolate waiting in a cup.

But so many families, seniors, teens or single folks have been slammed by the pandemic and economic hardship. Jobs that seemed so steady evaporated. Families with full pantries were scrimping and children went to bed hungry often crying into pillows so their mothers wouldn’t hear them.

Recovery Kitchen Vowed to Help Our Community

We started Recovery Kitchen as a pop up project in April 2020 in response to the stories about profound hunger in our county. And during this year, thanks to the kitchen wizardry of chef Jamie Parry and our army of talented, dedicated volunteers, we have delivered nearly 1,000 meals each week. A total of 30,000 healthy, yummy meals over the course of the year.

Volunteers Tom Ehrich and Karen Rosland load food to be delivered to those in need.

An army of 89 volunteer drivers traverse Columbia County from top to tip ensuring that meals are delivered four days a week. Drivers meander down dirt roads, park in apartment lots and deliver to back porches or trailers where kids are playing in mountains of snow. Although deliveries adhere to strict safety guidelines, often recipients wave thanks or holler out appreciation though creaky screens doors.

We are committed to continuing to find and serve all of Columbia County’s food insecure through this pandemic. We will continue beyond the quarantine because hunger often hides in plain sight and people need help.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

As we begin again to chop carrots, wash lettuce, or simmer beef for chili to ward off the chill in our souls and bellies, we want to stop to thank you all. Our supporters, drivers, cooks, clients and patrons.

Recovery Kitchen feeds people in need, yes, but it also reminds all of us that we are a circle united by caring. We are neighbors helping neighbors.

Thank You So Much

In order to fund this initiative we rely on our circle.  That is you.

Our Valentine’s fundraiser created elegant, romantic dinners that raised more than $12,000 and we are planning a fun Summer Kick-Off Picnic, so stay tuned.

We know this year strained pocketbooks, patience and tested faith but, we emerge yearning to see spring on the horizon. And we see hope.

We welcome volunteers and your donations.