Building meaningful and lasting relationships within the community is an important aspect of the work The Progress Center does. These relationships enhance our community based services and allows our employees to ensure our clients are being supported to live independent, community inclusive lives. These relationships give us unique access to the intimate lives of not only our clients but also our community. This has allowed our employees to recognize the needs of our neighbors, more specifically the issue of food insecurity.
The Community Kitchen, began in 2008 in the basement of a local church. Feeding initially only forty people, as word spread, the number of diners skyrockets. The number of food insecure individuals and families became clear and The Progress Center knew it could and should help feed the hungry.
The Community Kitchen program consists of five hunger based initiatives: Community Dinner, Produce Distribution, Feel Better Food, Summer Lunch and Level Up. In FY 2018 the Community Kitchen provided more than 21,000 meals to economically disadvantaged individuals and families from Oxford County. Patrons include people struggling with unemployment, individuals with disabilities, homeless teenagers and low-income senior citizens and others with both long- and short-term economic challenges.
Community Kitchen Programs
The Produce Distribution program provides produce, grains and quality proteins to low-income individuals and families Tuesdays and Thursdays all year long.
The Summer Lunch Program, a collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture, provided more than 875 healthy, balanced meals to low-income children during eight weeks of the summer break.
The Feel Better Food program provides newly discharge hospital patients who have been identified by a medical professional as a risk for malnutrition with up to four weeks of meals individually tailored to the patient’s nutritional needs. More than 4,400 meals were delivered in 2018 alone.
The Level Up program delivers food and hygiene items high school students throughout the school year. Students are identified either through self-referral or with support from teachers, counselors or the school resource officer.
Your Support Is Needed!
The Community Kitchen is for the community– In order to continue providing free meals we need support from the community. That is where you come in! No donation is too small to make a difference in the lives of those in need. Making a donation is now easier than ever! Just visit our Donate page or call us at 207-743-8049 x 266.