Community Kitchen provides basic safety net and emergency food service to our community. Community Kitchen soup kitchen began in 1979 as an outreach and partnership with the business community and Holy Rosary St. John’s Catholic Church. In 1985, a separate Board of Directors was formed and the agency incorporated as a private non-profit organization. During this time, a lunchtime meal was served six days a week to anyone in need.
Other needed services were added throughout the years including referrals for community and government resources, bus passes for medical and social service appointments and providing personal care items. In the last few years we have added a hot breakfast and have increased our emphasis on families with children. In 2011, a second site was added at 453 North 20th Street in Columbus. This site is a partnership with St. Dominic’s Church.
The Community Kitchen, Inc. primarily serves fragile and economically disadvantaged persons living on the southeast and the near east side of Columbus. However, clients may come from anywhere to the Community Kitchen for services. Last year the Community Kitchen served 133,991 meals, 11,554 of those meals being served to children.
Community Kitchen, Inc. believes strongly in the importance of providing services with a “no questions asked” policy. There is evidence that this policy helps to maintain a level of dignity necessary to work through the health or economic issues underlying the hunger. While maintaining a “no questions asked” policy for persons in need of a meal, the agency has grown in its success to bring about long-term results among the diners. Many are able to regain employment, obtain stable housing and often continue their relationship with us as volunteers assisting others.