Betsy Albert joined the Recovery Kitchen team in the early stages, delivering nine meals to four separate homes each week. “It’s a real eye-opening experience. There is so much inequity right in the middle of our community.”, she said. Delivering meals gives insight into the struggles of her own neighbors, some just a mile away without stoves or electricity. Betsy continues to build strong and gratifying relationships with the families along her delivery route – our work wouldn’t possible without volunteers like her!
Recovery Kitchen is honoring two years of growth, exciting developments, and delicious food, all of which we couldn’t have done without your support! Since its inception, Recovery Kitchen has delivered 70,000+ nutritious and delicious meals to our community. Thank you for making this impactful work possible!
As we turn the next chapter in our books, we want to celebrate major accomplishments for our organization and community. Recovery Kitchen welcomed a second chef to its team, Chef Tommy Carlucci.
Through a vast increase in farm donations, local produce and proteins have never been more present in Recovery Kitchen meals. Hudson Valley Fisheries donate fresh steelhead trout, and local beef, pork, chicken, eggs and greens from farms like Wally Farms and Grow in Harmony Recovery Garden continue to be featured in many of our meals.
Just a few other milestones included…
Increased deliveries from 4 to 5 days per week
Officially receiving 501-c3 status
Added two new board members, Stephanie Sussman and John Brigham
Completed robust survey of all recipients to gather participant data
Invited referrals from neighbors and self-referrals
In honor of incredible growth in just one year, Recovery Kitchen is celebrating our birthday during the month of April with delectable treats from the area’s finest bakeries. Keep your eyes peeled for the announcement!
For almost two years now, Tully Hedley drives every Tuesday for Recovery Kitchen, dropping off meals to five to ten houses along his route. “I like being part of the community and feeling like I’m giving back”, he said. Since his start, Tully has been a backbone of the volunteer drivers, always taking on extra routes if needed. “Everybody feels like they’re part of a team, it’s joyous”.
We’re grateful for volunteers like Tully who make our work possible. Thank you!
This Valentine’s Day, Columbia County Recovery Kitchen wants to give gratitude to our supporters like you who make it possible to continue feeding hungry families. Thank you.
Giving the gift of food is a caring, loving, and thoughtful act of generosity. Food is love, comfort, and warmth. Sharing food is at the heart of our mission at Recovery Kitchen. Will you help spread the love byproviding one meal for an entire family each month? At just $25 a month, your small gift provides one family of four with a meal like Soft Polenta with Tomatoes and Sausage for a family without food right now.
In becoming a monthly sponsor, your recurring gift means reliable funding for long-term meal services. You can help spread a little love and comfort to a family in need. Click here to begin monthly donations!
It is with heavy hearts that we announced that our beloved Carol Peckham has passed from her battle with cancer, in her home, surrounded by loved ones. Carol is survived by her loving husband, Michael; her three children, Geoffrey, Jillian and William; her stepchildren, Sarah and Jeremy, and six grandchildren.
Carol was one of the founding co-directors of Recovery Kitchen and a fierce advocate for those struggling to put food on their tables. Always positive, Carol put joy, passion, and a sense of humor into everything she did. She was a pillar in our community, working for years with the Salvation Army and the Columbia County Democratic Party before joining Recovery Kitchen.
If you would like to pay tribute to Carol, please donate in her memory to continue her work for Recovery Kitchen. You can donate here.
Read below for her obituary:
Carol Peckham, age 78, of Greenport, NY, died November 5th in her home.
Carol Peckham was born in Albany, NY. She grew up in Averill Park, NY, received a BA from Bennington College, and moved to New York City, where she lived and worked for more than 30 years. After weekending upstate since 2001, she and her husband Michael Grisham moved full time to Greenport, NY in 2014 and built a house together.
She had a long and significant career in medical publishing, first as Publisher of Scientific American Medicine and Care of the Surgical Patient and later Vice-President at Scientific American. There, she managed continuously updated print and the first CD-ROM delivery of medical information to physicians.
In 1992 she and Cynthia Chevins started Nidus Information Services, a series of reports designed to be delivered both in print and online directly to consumers. They sold Nidus to A.D.A.M, later acquired by Ebix, and both then worked at Medscape, the physician information division of WebMD.
After retiring from publishing, she ran for the town board in Greenport and was secretary of the Columbia County Democratic Committee, as well devoting herself to local food assistance, first cooking for the Salvation Army and then co-founding the Columbia County Recovery Kitchen during the COVID 19 pandemic.
She was a passionate, brilliant and witty writer who kept numerous blogs covering a wide array of subjects including politics, food, and marvelous observations on her own growing older. Her writing reflected her lifelong dedication to helping others, yet was never preachy or didactic, for it always shone with the keen sense of humor, the intelligent sympathy, and the generosity of spirit that all who knew her will miss.
She died peacefully looking out on the meadow and pond she loved.
The Chatham Synagogue Community Cookbook is a delightful collection of recipes for a good cause. The book is a compilation of Jewish culinary delights from everyday recipes to celebratory meals. Contributions to the book are from local Chatham Synagogue community members as well as celebrity chefs with ties to Columbia County, NY.
All funds raised from cookbook sales are donated to Columbia County Recovery Kitchen, an organization that fights concerning rates of food insecurity by providing delicious and nutritious meals delivered to those in need. So far, the book has raised close to $2,000!
The delightful home-style recipes, accompanied by reminiscences by the cooks, include Noodle Kugels, Potato Latkes, Kashe and Varnishes, Challah, Chicken Soup, and Matzoh Balls and Passover sweets such as Honey Cake, Lemon Cheesecake and Macaroons. There are many vegetarian recipes such as a Vegetarian Cholent to excite any eater.
The international lens reflects the home cooks’ passionate love of cooking. Many are influenced by Moroccan, Turkish, Italian, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Looking for creative and healthy recipes? The book is for home cooks interested in finding unusual, easy, delicious, and nutritious recipes. The diversity is inspiring, from Mandelbrot to a Harissa Painted Bird to Date Ketchup – there is a recipe for everyone at your dinner table.
The book is inspired by the unique stories and abundant produce found locally in the Hudson Valley. Home cooking in Columbia County is alive and well!
Thank to you everyone who purchased a cookbook! We’re grateful for your support.
Columbia County Recovery Kitchen hosted an old-fashioned backyard barbecue on Saturday, August 14, to thank its more than 90 dedicated volunteers who work to help vulnerable neighbors with food insecurity. Recovery Kitchen volunteers are drivers, schedulers, distribution staff, cooks, kitchen staff, and advisors working in the areas of fundraising, communication, grant writing and data collection. The event was held at the home of Carole Clark, Recovery Kitchen founder and long-time Hudson restaurateur.
“After 17 months of phone calls, text messages and Zoom meetings, our Recovery Kitchen organizers and volunteers finally were able to meet in person,” said Ms. Clark, continuing, “We had to delay this long-awaited, in-person gathering due to COVID restrictions.”
Recovery Kitchen’s large number of volunteers have diverse backgrounds. Many have moved to the Hudson Valley from either coast, with careers spanning a wide range of industries including fashion, finance, food and cookbook writing, law, publishing, newspaper reporting and nonprofit management. The artworld is represented among the volunteers too, from art dealers and artists to those from the music and entertainment industry.
The celebratory barbeque menu included grilled vegetables, burgers and hot dogs, potato salad, panzanella salad, watermelon feta salad and grilled peaches, all prepared by Recovery Kitchen Chef Jamie Parry. David Drake, a Recovery Kitchen volunteer, created festive beverages. Musical entertainment was provided by Rachel Weisman on vocals, accompanied by Jody Rael on guitar.
Recovery Kitchen, a local 501c3 public charity, opened its doors in April 2020. With the help of a fiscal sponsor and a church kitchen, two creative restaurant chefs, Jamie Parry (SWOON Kitchenbar) and John Carr (Le Perche) and their colleagues, they created 200 meals each week. By late summer, they were cooking and delivering 900 meals each week throughout the county. County social services and schools helped to identify people in need. Recovery Kitchen thrives due to the generosity and spirit of the community, including local farmers who donate freshly harvested vegetables and fruit, meat and cheese.
In thanking the volunteers, Ms. Clark recounted the organization’s origin story. “Initially planning the mechanics of Recovery Kitchen, I thought that finding people to cook and deliver the meals would be the biggest challenge. To our surprised delight, the response was overwhelming,” she said. “We are a truly dedicated and caring community, eager to work together to provide nutritious and delicious meals to Columbia County residents struggling with food insecurity. Since April 2020, we have delivered more than 50,000 meals. Recovery Kitchen is only possible because of all of you.”
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer for Recovery Kitchen can sign up here.
On Saturday, July 10th, Recovery Kitchen hosted a garden party fundraiser, Planting Seeds to End Hunger, to support its work fighting food insecurity with nutrition security. More than 80 guests enjoyed a sunny afternoon in a Spencertown garden to celebrate community efforts to help Columbia County residents in need.
The afternoon opened with longtime Hudson restaurateur and Recovery Kitchen founder, Carole Clark, explaining her inspiration for preparing and delivering healthy meals to hungry, vulnerable people in the county — children, the elderly on their own, the unemployed, and working people who can’t make ends meet. “I realized what the impact of the pandemic would be on people in Hudson and Columbia County, and could only think about those who would be hit the hardest, people who were food insecure in the best of times.”
Recovery Kitchen, a local 501c3 public charity, opened its doors in April 2020. With the help of a fiscal sponsor and a church kitchen, two creative restaurant chefs, Jamie Parry (SWOON Kitchenbar) and John Carr (Le Perche) and their colleagues, they created 200 meals each week and by late summer were delivering 950 meals each week. County social services and schools helped to identify people in need. Recovery Kitchen thrives due to the generosity and spirit of the community. A team of more than 100 volunteers cook and clean, coordinate between the meal producers and drivers, and drive all over the county to deliver meals in 26 towns.
Recovery Kitchen is supported by local farmers who donate freshly harvested vegetables and fruit, meat and cheese. In addition, a food recovery program, called Long Table Harvest, helps to close the food loop through sustainable farm surplus redistribution. One of the local farmers, Harold Hilton, owner of Earth Tapestry Farm and Grow in Harmony Community Garden, discussed his farm’s approach to giving back to the community and his use of regenerative agriculture techniques to improve sustainability.
“Much of our time and effort goes to creating and nurturing the soil. We ensure it is healthy and full of nutrients to support plants and their interdependent microbiotic communities,” said Mr. Hilton, continuing, “Our Grow In Harmony Community Garden, assisted by the most amazing volunteers from our community, has provided thousands of pounds of produce for the past 1.5 years and the primary recipient is the Recovery Kitchen.”
Despite the economy showing signs of bouncing back and local businesses reopening, the need for Recovery Kitchen’s services is continuing. The team continues to work with the county to identify people who would benefit from Recovery Kitchen’s services and has expanded the program to take referrals from community members as well as self-referrals. The organization’s goal is to increase the number of meal recipients and the number of meals served to some recipients. The Recovery Kitchen team also plans to develop ways to educate the community about the importance of diet and nutrition to prevent and treat some chronic diseases.
In addition to selling tickets for the event, a silent auction offered baskets of goods donated by local farmers and food purveyors. The 17 donors (in alphabetical order) were: Bimi’s, Churchtown Dairy, Copake Farmers Market, Germantown Laundromat, Golden Harvest, Hearty Roots, Hudson Winery, Lawlor’s Package Store, Melinda Wax Designs, Olde Hudson, Otto’s Market, Random Harvest, Sadhana Yoga, Talbott and Arding, Tierra Farm, Verdigris, and Yandik’s Farm.
“From the very beginning, it was and is the outpouring of support from the community, that enables us to provide delicious, nutrient-rich meals to people who were food and nutrition insecure before Covid and who will continue to be after Covid,” said Ms. Clark. “We are grateful for the generosity of our donors and are ever thankful for our amazing army of dedicated volunteers who all support our ability to continue serving those in need in our community.”
Anyone interested in supporting Recovery Kitchen can do so here.
At Recovery Kitchen, we rely on the generosity of volunteers to help feed hungry neighbors throughout Columbia County (NY). Each profile is a “thank you” to these special people.
“Giving away food is as righteous as it gets,” says Chatham resident Tom Ehrich, volunteer driver for the Recovery Kitchen. Seen here having some fun with fellow volunteer Karen Rosland, Tom delivers healthy meals twice each week to help feed hungry neighbors in Hudson.
Please help Recovery Kitchen continue to provide food to local families in need. If you’d like to join Tom and Karen, sign up to volunteer.