Report — NourishKC

Sue Moore Fenske, Executive Director

There is no question that the past two years we all have struggled, but perhaps none more than the individuals and families that don’t know where their next meal will come from.

The mission of NourishKC is to rescue fresh local food, prepare nutritious meals, and serve as a community partner to address hunger’s core causes.

NourishKC bases the efforts of its programs – Kansas City Community Kitchen (KCCK), Food Rescue, and Culinary Training – on the belief that Food is a basic human right. We believe that it is not enough just to fill bellies; the meals served to our guests should be hot, fresh, and nutritious. Our goal is to feed anyone in need and change lives in the process by partnering with other organizations and helping our volunteers and guests to build community.

But NourishKC doesn’t just offer food – it offers hope.  Perhaps these guests said it best:

“While I was getting back on my feet, I discovered Kansas City Community Kitchen. Everyone always made me feel welcome and raised my spirits.”

“As a mother of two, it is convenient to just come to KC Community Kitchen.  [It] helps a whole lot when you don’t have a whole lot at home”. Although she receives food stamps, they aren’t always enough, especially with the recent increases in the cost of groceries and gas. With the kids out of school for the summer, she is visiting Kansas City Community Kitchen more often. “My family’s food needs double during the summer. Being able to come to the kitchen and get a hot meal for me and my kids right now is really beneficial to us”.

“I was homeless for nearly 10 years, and this place provided a safe haven for me.  The meals I received here kept my spirit nourished as I worked to turn my life around. This kitchen has been a benefit because it’s always provided a healthy meal that most places don’t give.”

“I thank y’all so much for the kindness and love showed to me and my kids.”

Thankfully, due to the generous support of so many, NourishKC has been a consistent source of healthy fresh fruit, vegetables, and other perishable foods distributed through our network of pantry partners as well as and hot, nutritious prepared meals for as many as 4,000 adults, children, seniors, and veterans weekly at Kansas City Community Kitchen.  In addition, older teens and young adults learn basic kitchen skills and important life and job skills in NourishKC’s Culinary Training Program.

In 2021, NourishKC lifted up the families of greater Kansas City through the following achievements:

  • Kansas City Community Kitchen
    • 17,000+ guests nourished each month
    • Increased meals served from 87,139 in 2020 to 147,349 in 2021
  • Food Rescue Program
    • 391,042 pounds of food rescued
    • Pantry partners increased from 4 to 7
  • Culinary Training Program
    • 10-week sessions offered in Spring, Summer, and Fall
    • 61% of culinary graduates are employed

For families that were struggling to make ends meet day-to-day, before the pandemic, the impacts on family income experienced during the past two years will be felt well into the future.  We appreciate the support of the Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri that helps to ensure that NourishKC can continue to be a resource for families and individuals struggling with food insecurity.

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