Who We Are

The Community Kitchen started as an idea that a group of like-minded people had in 1982. The idea was to provide a meal to those who needed it. Naming the idea was the first problem—”soup kitchen” wasn’t what they wanted so The Keene Community Kitchen was born. In 1983 they started serving food in three local churches, but it soon became clear that the whole need was not being served and so take-home boxes were added to the equation. It also became clear that they were not just serving Keene residents, so the name was changed to The Community Kitchen, Inc.

The Community Kitchen continues to thrive as an organization largely because of the wonderful, dedicated volunteers who give their time, perhaps the most valuable donation of all. The support of the local community helped and continues to help, guide TCK on its way—local restaurants and businesses donate food and the Monadnock United Way and cities and towns within Cheshire County give financial support along with the County itself.

After operating out of the churches for many years TCK finally had to admit that the inconvenience of moving every pot and pan around pointed in one direction—they needed a permanent home of their own. In 1994 the building on Mechanic Street

was purchased and renovations began. The Pantry and Hot Meals Program began operating fully in their new home in 1998.

The need continues: in 2019 we served 2,652 families through our Pantry Program. Through our Hot Meals Program we served 19,860 people a nourishing and healthy meal–which averages to over 1,655 a month. We operate two programs – the Pantry Program distributes food weekly on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Clients are verified annualy by their income and residence. The Hot Meals Program serves a free meal six days a week, an evening meal on weekdays and a lunch on Sundays.

Our Gleaning Project was started in 2013 and has enabled us to partner with other agencies and businesses within Cheshire County. In its 7 years this project has brought well over a hundred thousand pounds of farm and garden fresh produce into our programs.

We strive to guide our guests and clients to make better food choices and partner with other agencies offering cooking workshops, classes and recipes. As the world changes around us we have to adapt to current needs and demands and can do so only with the continued support of the community around us.

Our Staff

Sarah Harpster, Executive Director

Peggy Higgins, Administrative Manager

Kate Leversee, Director of  Operations

Jocelyn Desmarais, Director of Development & Advocacy-

Alex, Pantry Manager

Andrea Young, Volunteer Coordinator & Operations Support

Anne Mahoney, Receptionist

Margaret Ioannou, Receptionist

Lisa Pollock, Evening Supervisor

Charles Tucker, Driver/Evening Dishwasher

Boris Knorr, Weekend Driver

TCK Entrance

Board of Directors 2023

We are a team of dedicated professionals from all walks of life, ready to do what ever it takes to feed our neighbors in need.

Jason Wilder


Gina Burke


Lily Christensen


Amanda Young


Cheryl Kahn


John Danahy


Peter Rooney


Marc Toyloy




All people in the Monadnock Region are able to provide healthy nutritious food for themselves and their families.


The Community Kitchen strives to provide nutritious meals and groceries; to educate and empower our guests, community, and partners; and to be a leading advocate to strengthen food security in the Monadnock Region.