Farmers and producers who contribute food for meals served each week by the Columbia County Recovery Kitchen were recognized at an event on March 18 at Christ Church Episcopal where the kitchen used to prepare the food each week is located.
Started in the beginning of COVID by Carole Clark and Pam Kline to address food insecurity in the county, the all-volunteer organization with its chef, the only paid employee, has grown from delivering 200 meals a week to over 1150. And it has done so without reliance on commodity or USDA surplus food. Working with the local agricultural community , CCRK now has relationships with over 26 farms. “It is the CCRK’s connection to the land and the farms that makes us different,” says Kline.
According to chef Tommy Carlucci, “Very often we don’t know what’s coming into our kitchen each week. There might be greens from Wally Farm or pork from Fat Apple Farm. The product is always fresh, well raised and exciting to work with. It allows for creativity and the pleasure of knowing that we are providing healthy and good tasting meals to our recipients.” The menu featured dishes highlighting some of the donated foods including Swedish meat balls, beer braised beef kielbasa, pulled pork sliders, mini frittatas and pork belly with hoisin sauce, farmstead cheese and local beers.
“The party was a grand, beautiful team effort and important event for CCRK, “said Clarkewho from the start said: “We are not going to deliver food that I would not serve in my restaurant or home. A significant expression of our appreciation for the farmers who make this happen was long overdue.”