Recovery Kitchen Turns 1!

birthday cake with candle celebrating 1st birthday
Design support thanks to Alison Matheny and BEST

The COLUMBIA COUNTY RECOVERY KITCHEN was founded on April 13, 2020 in response to the profound food insecurity spreading across our county in the wake of the pandemic. 

NOW WE ARE 1 YEAR OLD!

What a year this has been for all of us.

It has been 365 days filled with fear of COVID, joy at the distances we have covered together, and  appreciation of neighbors, family, friends and all the folks who do the good work of helping to feed those less fortunate than we are.

At the very start of the pandemic Carole Clark, who worked in the restaurant industry feeding people for ages, set about finding a new way to feed folks in need. And six weeks after lockdown began, Carole had RECOVERY KITCHEN up and running. The first week they served 200 free meals. All of this happened because of the vigorous, dedicated help of an army of volunteers and participating organizations.

Chef Jamie Parry from Swoon and John Carr, the chef from Le Perche, headed up the cooking. Two local churches (Christ Church Episcopal and First Presbyterian Church) offered a space to cook and a non-profit fiscal umbrella so that RECOVERY KITCHEN could raise funds. Pam Kline took the lead on finding drivers and recipients. Jamison Teale organized the meal distribution. Carol Peckham set up a GoFundMe account for start-up monies.  The first food insecure households were referred from the Sanctuary Movement, Social Services, Head Start, Reach and county schools.

EVERYONE STEPPED UP.                                           

In our first year, we have delivered more than 50,000 meals to families in need.  

It was a lot of work. And it still is, but the rewards are enormous.

COVID has been a tough time for everyone, a long bad moment. Our kitchen, is called RECOVERY because that is our path back, and the way get there is through the kindness and generosity of others.

This birthday celebration is for everyone who has cooked, driven miles in snow delivering meals, sent a donation, or called to check on folks to make sure that all of us know we matter.

ALL OF US.

Because all of us are recovering together from a challenging year.

So Happy Birthday to the circle who helps in ways big and small.

Please donate today so we can continue to help our neighbors or sign-up to be a volunteer.

RECOVERY KITCHEN MARCHES ON

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.

a Great Valentine’s Day Dinner From the Recovery Kitchen

The best things to do with the best things in life is to give them away.” Dorothy Day

Jamie Parry, a professional chef, has taken these words to heart by working full time at the Columbia County Recovery Kitchen, where he is currently providing 950 meals a week to people in the County with food insecurity. 

Now, he would like to cook for you on Valentine’s Day. You can help us continue to give away these best things to people in need by purchasing a ticket or two and enjoy in the warmth, comfort and security of your home a very special dinner made with love.

Carole Clark, chef proprietor of the former Charleston restaurant on Hudson, conceived the Recovery Kitchen last spring in the early days of the pandemic. With Pam Kline, a local business owner, they developed a plan to create a kitchen to provide daily healthy and delicious meals and deliver them to households in need throughout the county. They enlisted Jamie Parry and another chef, John Carr, whose restaurants, Swoon and Le Perche, had temporarily closed. Christ Church Episcopal provided the kitchen and First Presbyterian Church handled donations and invoices.

Now, what began as a pop-up kitchen is needed indefinitely. Since April of last year the Recovery Kitchen has delivered over 25,000 meals. The pandemic here is worse than ever, the vaccine is slow in distribution, and unemployment is high. To ensure the Kitchen’s on-going existence, Jamie Parry is now the full-time chef, committed to delivering the healthy meals that are so critical to so many people.

And on February 14, you can drive to his kitchen and pick up a meal for yourself. Click on the link, see the menu options, and purchase your dinner!

The Recovery Kitchen Is Seeking the Hidden Hungry

Since the pandemic started last spring, the Columbia County Recovery Kitchen has delivered over 24,000 healthy dinners to families in need throughout the county. The number of its volunteers has also swelled. The Recovery Kitchen chef Jamie Parry now works full time, managing up to 7 volunteer cooks and 9 kitchen helpers. Passionate and compassionate, these generous people prep from scratch, cook and package all the meals, which are then passed on to five volunteers who distribute the meals to over 90 drivers.  Christ Church Episcopal in Hudson provides the kitchen and the First Presbyterian Church has managed the Recovery Kitchen’s finances.

The operation has been effective and successful in combating the problem of hunger in the County, which has been greatly exacerbated by the covid pandemic.  

Currently, the families and individuals who receive food from the Recovery Kitchen are referred by the county’s Department of Social Services, Head Start, Columbia Opportunities, the REACH Center, the Columbia County Reentry Program, Friends of the Hudson Youth Center, and administrators from nearly all the county public schools.  

Recently, however, the Recovery Kitchen founders, Carole Clark and Pamela Kline, are wondering if they are still missing many people who struggle with food insecurity. One of the drivers last month reported that a client had complained of a neighbor stealing meals off his porch.  In another recent incident, a driver was delivering a dinner to one house and suddenly a person from the house next door ran over saying they were hungry and asked for a spare meal. The solution: add the both neighbors to the delivery list. 

However, Clark and Kline are concerned that many families who suffer from food insecurity are unrecorded and that the upcoming hard winter will only increase this hidden population.  So how many are there and how can they be reached? The Recovery Kitchen now has the capacity to extend its outreach for the foreseeable future.  

To recommend families who might need its services, please contact   info@columbiacountyrecoverykitchen.org.

Thanks to our Chefs, Cooks, and Kitchen Volunteers

The Recovery Kitchen could never have happened without the creative and hard work of our professional chefs and cooks as well as the unsung hero volunteers who keep the kitchen organized and spotless.  Our special thanks to Jamie Parry, our founding and current chef, and to John Carr, his fellow founder, now back at Le Perche. 

With deepest appreciation,

Carole Clark, Pam Kline, Carol Peckham.  Directors, Columbia County Recovery Kitchen 

Chefs and Cooks

Jamie Parry, Columbia County Recovery Kitchen, Chef, le Perche
John Carr, Chef, le Perche
Stephanie Skiadas, Chef, Gaskins
Craig Dillon
Traver Keil
Nancy Kuster
Sally Parry
Derick Pearson

Kitchen Volunteers

Usha Berlin

Nicole Cherubini

Janina Dieppe

Joan Feder 

Jan and Lester Greenburg

Tully Hedley

Betty Isler

Carol Moore

Bebe Pebworth

Thanks to Those Who Distribute and Drive the Meals to Families in Need

Our great appreciation to the indispensible volunteers who pick up the meals from the Recovery Kitchen each day and distribute them to the drivers, who deliver each one to the families across Columbia County. 

With great gratitude,

Carole Clark, Pam Kline, Carol Peckham.  Directors, Columbia County Recovery Kitchen 

Distribution Team

Jamison Teale
Tom Martin

Madelyn Benoit

Karen Rosand

Moira Stone

Drivers

Chris Aker

Elisabeth Albert

Perry Asher

Dave Baylen

Cleo Berliner

Peter Bevacqua

Cheryl Bickett

Carol Block

Rose Caldwell

Lynn Clark

Barbara And Ken Cooke

David Craw

Margaret Davidson

Joanne Delrossi

Janina Dieppe

Tom Ehrich

Steven Eidman

Judith Engel

Noel Fair

Joan Feder

Jean Feinberg

Georgene Gardner

Jan And Lester Greenburg

Julie Harrington

Christina Harris

Tully Hedley

Sophie Henderson

David Henry

Angie Hickman

Sam Hodge

Susan Hunt

Bob Ihlenburg

Beverly Ingleburger

Betty Isler

Lee Jamison

Anya Kanevskaya

Kaarla Kavanaugh

Judy Keefer

Mary Keegan

Susan Krim

Betsy Lamb

Abby Lappen

Carol Lavender

Sarah Lazarus

Laura Lerner

Lauren Liberati

John Luckacovic

Barbara Maccormack

Mark Macdonald

Steve Maggio

Shaina Marron

Tracy Martin

Alison Matheny

Judi Mathews

Courtney Mcdowell

Sara Mcwilliams

Sandi Meyers

David Miller

Laura Miller

Carol Moore

Maureen Mueller

Alanna Navitski

Ariana Nilsson

Eleanor Oldham

Jennifer Ose Macdonald

Dina Palin

Bebe Pebworth

Stuart Peterson

Liz Phillips

Deborah Pierce

Dwayne Resnick

Jeff Rigby

Mary Ellen Ross

Lisa Ross

Molly Salisbury

Melanie Sears

Susan Silverman

Valerie Spensieri

Rebecca Stowe

Christian Sweningsen

Laura Teague

Bart Thibadeau

Mike Tizekker

Mike Tizekker Sr

Malgosia Turzanska

Karen Vecellio

Melinda Wax

Craig Westcott

Zoe Wohlfeld

Priscilla Woolworth

Cathy Zises

Thanks to Christ Church Episcopal

We are so grateful to our friends at Christ Church Episcopal for the use of their kitchen and facilities, which has enabled us to prepare and deliver food to families in need throughout the past difficult months. 

With our great appreciation,

Carole Clark, Pam Kline, Carol Peckham.  Directors, Columbia County Recovery Kitchen 

Thanks to the First Presbyterian Church

Our deepest appreciation to our friends at First Presbyterian Church and especially Theresa Parsons, who has managed the donations and expenses that allowed us to launch and continue the Recovery Kitchen operations. 

With gratitude,

Carole Clark, Pam Kline, Carol Peckham.  Directors, Columbia County Recovery Kitchen 

The First Presbyterian Church
Theresa Parsons

Thanks to Our Local Businesses and Non-Profits

We are very grateful to the many local organizations that contributed their services, which were critical in launching and sustaining the Recovery Kitchen.

With deepest appreciation,

Carole Clark, Pam Kline, Carol Peckham.  Directors, Columbia County Recovery Kitchen

Design

Julie and Theo Fels, feistybrown.com 

Alison Matheny, alisonmatheny.com/best

Website Development

Suzanne and Robert Trevellyan, trevellyan.biz

Video and Photography

Randall Martin, Video, martinavservices.com

David MacIntyre, Photography, davidmcintyre.com

Fundraiser Contributions 

Shari Kline Traditions, tlathome.com

Deena Pewtherer, The Mighty Masketeers of Columbia County, columbiamasketeersny.org

Accounting

David Ackerman, Karp Ackerman, Small, and Hogan, kashpc.com

Legal Services

Brian Herman Law Office

Consultants

Michael Tucker, Columbia County Economic Development Corp 

Brian Zweig, MBA, Business Opportunities Management Consulting

Thanks to Our Food Providers

Our great thanks to the local farms and other providers whose donations of produce, meat, and other foods have fed many families with healthy meals this year.

With deepest appreciation,

Carole Clark, Pam Kline, Carol Peckham.  Directors, Columbia County Recovery Kitchen 

AppleStone Meat Company, Butchery, applestonemeat.com

Breadfolks, breadfolks.com

Churchtown Dairy, churchtown dairy

Camphill Copake, camphillvillage.org

Grow in Harmony Community Garden

Deep Roots Farm, deeprootsfarmny.com

Hawthorne Valley Creamery, farm.hawthornevalley.org

Le Perche, leperchehudson.com

Upstate Farms, upstatefarms.com

Churchtown Dairy