RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The veggies are cooking at a slow boil in the FeedMore Community Kitchen.
At one station, Mary Jo Biedenharn is prepping parsnips to add to the batch.
“I absolutely love everything I do here,” Biedenharn says with a happy sparkle in her eye. “I cook the way I would for my own family.”
Biedenharn is one of about 45 volunteers needed each day to prepare 3,500 meals. What they cook is served up through Meals on Wheels, the Kids Cafe after-school program and the eleven adult care centers FeedMore supports.
“We actually cook here. It’s not popping the can open and putting it in a plate,” explains Amory James, FeedMore’s Director of Food Services. “We actually scratch cook, scratch bake. We provide meals using fresh ingredients, raw meats, raw vegetables, and we hand-do almost everything.”
James makes his rounds in the kitchen, chatting with volunteers and staff members along the way. They have a camaraderie as they portion the main dishes, sides and desserts.
“The sentiment of people is more of community,” James describes their warm energy. “More of coming together and more of helping a neighbor. We may not live directly next door to somebody, but we’re all neighbors here.”
The time they give is an important part of every recipe. The volunteers and staff members know one day the tables could turn, and the Community Kitchen will be there for them too.
“It’s always good to have that giving heart to want to do things for people while you’re able to,” says James.
“Come volunteer,” Biedenharn coaxes. “It’s a wonderful place. There’s so much that needs to be done every single day here that whatever time anybody has would be greatly appreciated.
Follow this link for information on donating time or food to the FeedMore Community Kitchen.