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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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!