In these tough economic times, the need for food and hot meals continues to rise, not only for the chronic homeless, but for families and others who before this were self-sufficient. We are averaging almost 150 people every day that include our sheltered clients as well as hungry members of the community we serve.
Our service acknowledges that outside of sheltering from the elements, nourishment is the most critical basic need. In the case of chronic homeless often addicted to drugs and alcohol, nourishment is a critical element to rebuild health and focus on positive rehabilitation efforts.
Our project addressed providing warm, cooked meals three times per day to the large homeless population – and to meet the needs of families who had no other access to meals, especially children.
Supported by a Yakima County Community Foundation grant, assistance and volunteer help from the Yakama Nation, and contributions from other donors and agencies, Generating Hope built a commercial kitchen: addressing needed freezer and refrigerated food storage, a commercial-level gas stove and oven to meet large service numbers, and necessary equipment like commercial sinks and buffet equipment.
More than just a soup kitchen, Project Meal Time served other important goals.
- Allows for community-wide participation through involvement of churches and other agencies volunteers to cook and serve the poor.
- Instills a sense of responsibility where homeless clients can accept responsibility and personal involvement in cooking, food preparation, food-handling compliance, supervising chores and scheduling.
- Leads to an internal community and team effort to restore a sense of self-esteem and accomplishment that reinforces our mission of collectively meeting basic needs and rehabilitation for re-integration into the community.
Skill-sets learned in PROJECT MEAL TIME can transfer to employment, self-sufficiency, and a self-start to caring about others and transitioning to a better quality of life.