Joy Kitchen Newsletter, August/Sept. 2014

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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
  • You can volunteer in the kitchen on one of the Saturdays we are open. See Volunteer Guidelines and Dates of Service at

Just let me know if you’d like to help!

That’s all for now. Be blessed!

Marty Donnellan, Director

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