MASON CITY, Iowa – More than 58,000 meals have been served in a seven county area.
The Community Kitchen of North Iowa has been serving their community for 31 years, and while that it a major accomplishment all on its own, they’re especially proud of the work they accomplished in 2013.
2013 was the first full-year the organization served six afternoon meals per week and four evening meals per week.
Volunteers and board members involved with the organization focus on providing well rounded meals with nutritional value for anyone who needs it.
However, it’s who they’ve been serving that makes everyone so proud of their success.
Sandy Funk is the interim director for the kitchen and says that they never turn anyone away, and while they enjoy helping those in need, it’s always surprising to see how big the need really is.
“We have a large clientele of people early 30s, to early 40s and most of these people are unemployed and are out looking for work and are having a difficult time with that,” Funk said.
Funk said their numbers do fluctuate throughout the year and she says that they see more families and children during the summer months.
This winter has been challenging all around since many of the people who come to the kitchen have to walk, ride their bike or rely on public transportation and the temperatures have been so extreme that it has kept some away.
“Our numbers do continue to grow and a part of that is because we are now serving the four nights a week and reaching a different audience of people we have several families that come in at night.”
She added that the everyday function of the organization would not be possible without all of the volunteers who dedicate their time to the rewarding cause.