While some household budgets can absorb the extra cost for necessities, many cannot and for some, that means turning to food pantries for the first time or needing more from them than they have in the past.
The Community Kitchen is located on Mechanic Street, in Keene, New Hampshire.
We serve the Monadnock Region and Cheshire County.
Now, more than ever, we need your help for our neighbors in these especially difficult times.
Dedicated to serving families and individuals for 40 years.
WHO WE ARE
In 1983 the Keene Community Kitchen 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 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.
All people in the Monadnock Region are able to provide healthy nutritious food for themselves and their families.
DIGNITY- Everyone is treated with respect, empathy, non-judgment and confidentiality. We value diversity, equity and inclusion.
INTEGRITY- We earn trust with reliability, consistency, transparency, high standards and quality work.
TEAMWORK- With positivity, helpfulness, interdependence and solidarity, we work together within our organization and beyond, to achieve our mission.
SUSTAINABILITY- We achieve our sustainable business and lasting impact on community food security with adaptability, resourcefulness, and innovation.
Highlights of The Community Kitchen in 2022
~ Completing our second building renovation and switching on our 150-panel solar array, generating 58 MWh of power.
~ Re-starting Weekly Choice Pantries, allowing guests to choose either a convenient drive-through pantry or full-choice walk-through pantry.
~ Transitioning our leadership, after 10+ years, from Phoebe Bray to Sarah Harpster.
~ Providing our guests with bountiful local produce throught grant-funded purchasing, gleaning and our Harvest Bridge fresh-to-frozen processing program.
~ Boosting summer meals for kids through regional pantries with our $26,000 NH Gives Fundraiser.
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 as purchased and renovations began. The Pantry and Hot Meals Program began operating fully in their new home in 1998.
The need continues: In 2022, 33,677 hot meals were served. We also distributed 27,554 boxes through the Pantry Program for a total of 247,986 meals throughout the year.
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.
Thank you for joining us in making a difference in your community. In the end, we are all neighbors!