The Mission of South County People’s Kitchen is primarily to serve as an emergency food resource for the homeless and food-challenged members of the Five Cities community. We supply this need with a healthy, hot noon-time meal served every day of the year. We seek to provide a safe haven wherein all people are welcomed and treated with dignity. We also feel it is very important to do more than feed our guests and send them on their way. Therefore, we strive to network with other like-minded agencies and organizations in order to provide accurate referrals so that our guests can be treated holistically for all the problems that have caused their present living situation. Another continuing goal is to educate the local community by providing accurate information regarding the plight of the homeless and food-challenged.
South County People’s Kitchen served its first meal in May, 1992 to 4 people. Today we serve 70-80 guests in the beginning of the month and 120-135 guests near the end of the month. All the meals are prepared offsite by team members who care for the people they are serving as if they were their own family members. The meals are balanced and healthy using all food groups. Fresh fruit is provided when in season. Milk is served at every meal.
Our guests come in all shapes and sizes. They are a cross-section of our local community; senior citizens, young families with toddlers and/or school children, the mentally challenged, those that were recently incarcerated in local hospitals and jails and some that are just “down on their luck”. Many are battling addictions and we feel a special obligation to feed them all. We believe it is belter to keep them alive as we work to restore their hope and dignity than let them perish because they have chosen badly. We cheer on the ones who are clean, it doesn’t matter if it has been 6 days, 6 months or longer.
The monthly serving team calendar is made up of 35 different teams who faithfully show up on their day every month. (The exceptions are the 5th week teams who serve once every quarter.) Some people who are serving have been actively involved since SCPK’s inception 17 years ago. There are, of course, people who leave the program but there always seems to be plenty of new volunteers ready to fill in and infuse the program with a new sense of enthusiasm.
The following churches have serving teams: New Life, Arroyo Grande United Methodist, Nipomo Presbyterian, St. Barnabas Episcopal, Oak Park Christian, Grace Bible, St. John’s Lutheran, Church of God Prophesy, St. Patrick’s Catholic, First Presbyterian of Grover Beach, King’s Way, Calvary Chapel, Peace Lutheran, 5-Cities Vineyard, St. Paul’s Catholic and New Hope. Arroyo Grande Community Hospital and the Santa Maria Rescue Mission are also represented with serving teams.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
The blessings come thru prayer. Prayer makes everything possible.
Preparing meals, serving meals, facilitating daily operations, gathering and delivering food.
- Become part of a permanent team, helping with preparing food and serving, or just serving.
- Become a stand-by person, ready to help out when teams need help.
- Become a Supervisor, supervising over our daily meal. Usually that involves one day per month or more if your so desire.
- Helping pick up food and delivering it to our storage facility
This ministry continues through your donations.
If you are interested please, please call Nancy imwold- 489-3254, ext 213 or Betsy Ehrler – 489-9O46. Be prepared to give your name, phone number, and e-mail address, and please indicate the area you would like to serve from those listed above. Thank you.