Recovery Kitchen Hosts Old-Fashioned Backyard BBQ to Thank Volunteers

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.

Carole Clark, Recovery Kitchen founder, thanking volunteers for their hard work and dedication.
Carole Clark, Recovery Kitchen founder, thanking volunteers for their hard work and dedication.

“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.”

Carol Moore, volunteer, speaking to the group, with Carole Clark (photo by Sarah Sterling)
Carol Moore, volunteer, speaking to the group, with Carole Clark (photo by Sarah Sterling)

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.

Recovery Kitchen Chef, Jamie Parry, on the grill (photo by Rachel Weisman)
Recovery Kitchen Chef, Jamie Parry, on the grill (photo by Rachel Weisman)

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.

Jody Rael, on the guitar (photo by Rachel Weisman)
Jody Rael, on the guitar (photo by Rachel Weisman)

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.

Group of four, from left to right: Ken and Barbara Cooke, John and Eleanor Luckacovic (photo by Sarah Sterling)
Group of four, from left to right: Ken and Barbara Cooke, John and Eleanor Luckacovic (photo by Sarah Sterling)

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.”

Volunteers lining up for a delicious meal (from left to right: Ken Cooke, Zach Minor, Jim Maggio in background, Barbara Cooke, Paz Sullo, Mike Tizekker, Jeff Rigby and Deb Tibensky. Photo by Sarah Sterling)
Volunteers lining up for a delicious meal (from left to right: Ken Cooke, Zach Minor, Jim Maggio in background, Barbara Cooke, Paz Sullo, Mike Tizekker, Jeff Rigby and Deb Tibensky. Photo by Sarah Sterling)

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer for Recovery Kitchen can sign up here.

Aerial View of the Recovery Kitchen party (photo by Win Jackson)
Aerial View of the Recovery Kitchen party from the treehouse (photo by Win Jackson)

 

Garden Party Fundraiser a Success

Carole Clark, founder, and Pam Kline, Co-Director, at the Recovery Kitchen garden party

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.

Founder Carole Clark and Co-Director Pam Kline at Recovery Kitchen garden party
Carole Clark, Recovery Kitchen founder, and Pam Kline, Co-Director

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.

Founder, board member and guest enjoy Recovery Kitchen garden party
Carole Clark, Recovery Kitchen founder, with Board member Esther Trakinski and Stuart Fleischmann.

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.”

Farmer Harold Hilton and Founder Carole Clark at Recovery Kitchen garden party
Harold Hilton, owner of Earth Tapestry Farm and Grow in Harmony Community Garden

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.

Recovery Kitchen Board member, volunteer and guests enjoy the garden party
Eric Spiegel, Recovery Kitchen board member and party garden owner; Tim Carlson, Paul Trantanella and Win Jackson, volunteer.

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.

Silent auction table at Recovery Kitchen garden party
Melinda Wax, Recovery Kitchen volunteer and owner, Melinda Wax Designs, manning the silent auction table.

 

Silent auction basket at Recovery Kitchen garden party
Silent auction basket at Recovery Kitchen garden party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“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.

Board member, Esther Trakinski, and Co-Director, Pam Kline, at the Recovery Kitchen garden party
Board member, Esther Trakinski, and Co-Director, Pam Kline, at the Recovery Kitchen garden party.

Photos by Rachel Weisman and Pam Kline

#gardenparty
#ccrecoverykitchen
#neighborshelpingneighbors
#feedingourcommunity

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteers Making a Difference

Recovery Kitchen volunteers have fun
Chatham resident Tom Ehrich, seen here having some fun with fellow volunteer Karen Rosland, delivers healthy meals twice each week to help feed hungry neighbors in Hudson.

 

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.

#nationalnutritionmonth
#ccrecoverykitchen                                                                                                          #neighborshelpingneighbors                                                                                                    #feedingourcommunity

We’re Having a Party!

Secret Garden Party
Please join us to help feed hungry neighbors in need.

We are hosting a garden party to SOW SEEDS OF HOPE for folks experiencing food insecurity. You’ll meet the chefs, chat with the farmers, and join the fun in a glorious, secret Spencertown garden.

Join us on Saturday, July 10th, from 3 to 5pm. Sip prosecco or sparkling water and enjoy hors d’oeuvres by chef Jamie Parry as you wander the gardens.

Food insecurity has been rampant in Columbia County both before and during the pandemic and sadly, it will continue. Join us to help deliver 900 meals a week to families in need.

Tickets and information will be found here.  After you purchase tickets, details will be tumbling into your inbox.

WAIT, CAN’T ATTEND? Join us in spirit with a donation via this link.

Give whatever you can, it all helps to feed folks. Generosity is contagious, so please pitch in!

 

Hudson Rotary Donates to Recovery Kitchen

Hudson Interact Club high school students donate to Recovery Kitchen
Recovery Kitchen’s Pam Kline receives donated masks and a check from the Hudson Rotary Interact Youth Group high school students.

We are so grateful that the Hudson Rotary Club donated 500 face masks and a $200 check to the Recovery Kitchen. The Hudson Rotary Club sponsors an Interact Club for students between the ages of 12-18. The Interact Club members work together on local service projects in the community to help others and “better our world.”

The Hudson Rotary Club supports these students by helping to develop their leadership skills and to teach students about the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.” Recovery Kitchen Co-organizer and Director, Pam Kline, is pictured here receiving the donated masks and check from the Rotary Interact Youth Group high school students.

If you’d like to make a donation to help us continue serving those in need in our community, you can do so here:

https://columbiacountyrecoverykitchen.org/donations/make-a-donation-2/

#ccrecoverykitchen
#neighborshelpingneighbors
#feedingourcommunity