We purchase beans and rice in 25-50 lb. bags and repackage in smaller bags. Thanks to leader Michelle and three delightful and hard-working young men from the Hi-Hope Center who packaged up many many bags of rice and beans for us today.
Between March and June your donations enabled our whole foods pantry to serve 1,420 people with each person getting up to 11 lbs. of good wholesome food – a total of 15,600 lbs. of food, or nearly 8 TONS. That includes 1,720 lbs. of fresh-frozen, great-quality chicken and 320 lbs. of fresh-frozen, great-quality ground beef. Our clients sure appreciate it and so do we. Thanks!
Letter from the Director
Hi, everyone. Can it be August already? Your local community kitchen, Joy Community Kitchen, Inc., has had an amazing year so far. We began 2014 with a new board of directors, our long-awaited 501(c)3 non-profit status from the IRS, a few meals going to the SaltLight Center (a temporary shelter for women and kids), and a bunch of dreams and prayers.
Now it’s nearly fall. We are still quite small but things are beginning to happen.
- Highlands Presbyterian Church in Grayson allowed us to offer four free community meals to the clients of the SE Gwinnett Co-op. Each meal served between 50-110 of our neighbors in need.
- The Atlanta Community Food Bank added us as one of their 600+ partner agencies. That means we can purchase foods from them at $.12 on the dollar.
- The Lawrenceville Church of God has gifted us with a wonderful commercial kitchen and space out of which to operate twice per month. It’s in the same building as The SaltLight Center. We are still supplying and will continue to supply at least one weekly meal to the SaltLight Center guests.
- We are in the beginning stages of a new frozen meal ministry which will benefit the clients of the Co-op and hopefully others as well. Our first 56 portions will be delivered this week.
For several reasons, the frozen meal outreach will form the cornerstone of our efforts for now. Let me share an incident which has helped shape my thinking. A few years ago I was volunteering at a local food pantry. A distraught mom, after undergoing the rather lengthy screening process, asked the interviewer if the pantry had any fresh meat. ‘Not at the present time,” the interviewer replied. “We do offer a small supply of canned tuna and/or chicken.”
“I didn’t mean to push,” the woman said. “It’s just that there are two families including five kids in our house, and no meat.” That incident, including the woman’s fear, has stuck with me. Most people are not vegetarian or vegan and depend on animal protein. I like going meatless sometimes, but how would I feel if fresh meat was unobtainable?
For that reason and to supplement the efforts of the food pantry, Joy Kitchen’s frozen meals will be meat-intensive, with one side dish. Sample menus include baked chicken with dressing, glazed ham with sweet potato casserole or fresh green beans, salisbury steak with mashed potatoes, and spaghetti with meat sauce.
The Co-op serves approximately 400 families each month, 20% of whom are older adults. The need is there, and the Co-op’s freezers are ready and waiting for our meals.
With our current resources we are able to supply about 80-100 portions per month. Praise God for that. We’d like to be able to offer more!
“What can I do to help my neighbors in need?” you may be asking. There are lots of things.
- You can pray for Joy Kitchen, that God will supply the needs of the ministry and that we will use our time/money/resources effectively.
- You can help with a monetary donation. Your donations, of course, are tax-deductible.
- You can donate food and supplies – see our list of frequently used items at https://joycommunitykitchen.org/2014/08/11/joy-kitchen-wish-list-items-frequently-used/
- You can volunteer in the kitchen on one of the Saturdays we are open. See Volunteer Guidelines and Dates of Service at https://joycommunitykitchen.org/volunteer-guidelines/
Just let me know if you’d like to help! firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s all for now. Be blessed!
Marty Donnellan, Director
Great news! Beginning in August, Joy Kitchen will begin a new frozen meal ministry! We will operate out of the Lawrenceville Church of God on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month, cooking and packaging fresh quality meals to be frozen and distributed to clients of the SE Gwinnett Co-op in Grayson, as well as help the church meet their own benevolence needs. The food pantry meals are intended to supplement the foods that the pantry already gives out. They will be meat-intensive – chicken, ham, ground beef, etc. – with one side.
You can help!
One. Donate a new or used chest freezer to place in the Gwinnett Co-op. Used is fine but it must be in good working order.
Two. Donate a ham! We will gladly accept any fresh, unopened ham but the easiest to prepare for us is Castleberry’s Boneless Spiral-sliced Ham from Sam’s Club, in the gold bag. Drop hams off any Sat. we are open, between 11am-1pm (call 770 313 9842 first to make sure we are open)
Three. We need volunteers! People age 14 and up to portion the cooked foods into containers, seal, label and box them up.
Our first date of service will be August 9.