Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day - what a celebration...

The Chattanooga Community Kitchen celebrated Christmas by serving more than 350 people on Christmas Day. Everyone enjoyed a restaurant style, traditional sit-down meal. Dozens of volunteers helped by serving the clients and making sure that everyone had all the bread and drinks they wanted. It was a great day!

Santa made sure everyone left with a gift bag filled with hygeine items, hats, gloves, blankets and some special surprises. The kids all received toys and a great time with Santa...especially one little boy who got a bicycle.

Thanks to all that made the day great!

Please watch the video below....
The video can also be viewed on youtube.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

City Wide Fast Day Proclamation and urgent financial need

We are proud to announce that the City of Chattanooga has proclaimed a "City Wide Fast Day."

This is a great step in bringing awareness to our cause. Remember, we still need your help! To date, we still over $200,000 to meet our goal of $550,ooo. Without your support, we will have to cut our essential services to our area's most vulnerable citizens. Please send in your donation today!

The proclamation text is below:


WHEREAS: The City of Chattanooga takes pleasure in paying tribute to those special organizations who have dedicated themselves to the betterment of our community; and

WHEREAS: The Chattanooga Community Kitchen serves the homeless and needy of our area by providing a feeding program, job training, shelters, clothing, housing, basic needs and much more; and

WHEREAS: The Community Kitchen relies on area individuals, churches, and businesses for support, and especially on Fast Day in particular, to provide the support for these programs; and

WHEREAS: The Community Kitchen serves over 120,000 meals each year and helps thousands with employment and housing needs; and

WHEREAS: The Community Kitchen is an important part of our community and serves our area’s most vulnerable citizens and once a year, requests the residents of Chattanooga to fast for a day and donate the cost of one day’s meals to those less fortunate

Now Therefore, I, Ron Littlefield, Mayor of the City of Chattanooga, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, December 16, 2008 as

City Wide Fast Day

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ongoing Needs

The Community Kitchen's Needs List:
  • funding
  • blankets
  • adult coats (men and women's - large preferred)
  • adult socks
  • adult underwear
  • shoes (larger sizes)
  • towels and washcloths
  • sandwich bags
  • 55 gallon garbage sacks
  • food service grade plastic wrap
  • grits
  • butter
  • paper sacks
  • 100 cup coffee maker
  • #10 cans of food
  • noodles
  • plastic forks, spoons and knives
  • dinner napkins
  • your support

WMBW Food Drive Results

We are amazed by the response of WMBW Moody Radio and their listening audience.

The 2008 WMBW Drive-By Turkey Fry and Food Drive raised 14.8 tons of food and 722 turkeys! This is an all time high, showing just how much we can all accomplish together.

Thank you for blessing the Community Kitchen and our clients with your support!

Even with such a great outpouring, we still need help; the needs this year are greater than ever!

Monday, November 24, 2008

WMBW Drive By Turkey Fry

Remember to come by the Barn Nursery to donate frozen turkeys, hams and non-perishable foods tomorrow, November 25, from 7am-6:30pm.

Come by at lunch and enjoy a free fried turkey sandwich!

Thanks for your support!

UTC Intramurals delayed

The UTC intramural flag football event has been delayed due to rain.

All details are the same as listed below, except the date is now next Monday, December 1.

Friday, November 21, 2008

You never know...


We were serving our last meal of the day. One of the people eating with us came up and asked a lot of questions about our services and exactly what we do here. Our food services assistant, Greg answered his questions and talked with him for a while.

The gentleman was not a regular. Greg had not seen him before. After he finished eating, he went to the front desk and asked if this was where he was to pay for his meal. We told him that it was not necessary for him to pay. That our meals are part of our ministry to the homeless and needy of Chattanooga. He thanked us and turned to leave.

He then asked if he could at least make a donation. We told him sure if he felt he wanted to. He then handed us a $100.00 bill and turned and left. You never know...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 24 - 2 UTC events to benefit the Community Kitchen.

November 24th is a busy day at UTC. Students and Faculty are sponsoring two events to benefit the Community Kitchen.

1.) Beat Hunger, 7:30pm, Roland Hayes auditorium, annual percussion showcase concert to benefit the Kitchen; for over ten years, Dr. Monte Coulter has been organizing this lively event - bring a $2 check or 2 non-perishable food items to get in the door! Come early if you'd like a seat!

2.) Flag Football Championship, 5pm-9pm, Chamberlain and Challenger Fields, sponsored by the UTC Campus Recreation, Finley Stadium, UTC SGA and the Community Kitchen. Admission is one non-perishable food item. For more details, click on the photo below or click here.

And, if you've still got energy, get up the next day (November 25) and play Sodoku at the Pi Mu Epsilon Sodoku tournament; 11:00 AM room 422 of the EMCS building. UTC math students are offering a Sodoku tournament to benefit the Kitchen. No registration needed; show up with $10 entry fee and become the Sodoku Shogun (winner receives 20% of total tournament proceeds; 80% goes to the Community Kitchen).

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fall 2008 Newsletter (November)

Our newsletter is out! Click here to view the Fall 2008 (November) newsletter!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Evensong to Remember the homeless who have died.

On Sunday, November 2nd, 2008, All Saint's Sunday, Saint Paul's Episcopal Church held an evensong service to remember the homeless who have died. Each year we solemnly honor those we have served that have died. Many have died homeless, some have died of homelessness; others, once homeless, had moved on to housing. All are worth remembering and honoring. Each is a life lost.

This year, we remembered the following friends: William “Billy” Thomas; Kevin Beene; Donald Ray Edgemon, Jr.; Wanda Bulloch; George Anthony “Elmo” Monds; Beverly Johnson; Huey Glen Farmer; Sharon Goins; Philip Redmon; Richard Heath; Judy Bradford; Robert Turner; Edward Brandenburg; Debra Rowe; Jacqueline Gaines; Ellis Orr; LaTony Johnson; Lori; Terry Lewis; Mary Beverly Henderson; Michael Stewart; Robbie Taylor; John Henry; Sophia DeBord (child); Dana Glaze; Woody; and Those Unknown and Unnamed by us.

Brother Ron Fender, BSG wrote and recited a homily at the service. His words follow:

Solemn Evensong for the Homeless who have Died
St. Paul’s Church, November 2, 2008
Br. Ron Fender, BSG

How do we measure a life? By the counting of its days? By accomplishments or by the wealth accumulated?

This evening, we remember the homeless who have died this year. These were the people who lived on our streets, in our missions, in the hidden, secret places, out of sight and all too often, out of mind. Perhaps we passed them on the street and prayed that our eyes did not meet. Perhaps we helped them in some small way and felt better about our own lives.

This evening we commemorate the promise found in Ecclesiasticus:
“Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us.
All these were honoured in their generations
And were the glory of their times.
And some there be which have no memorial;
Who are perished as though they had never been;
And are become as though they had never been born;
And their children after them.
But these were merciful men,
Whose righteousness hath not been forgotten.
Their bodies are buried in peace,
But their name liveth for evermore.”

For many of us, these names we read here tonight are deeply etched on our hearts. These were our friends, our companions in the cold, our family. These people lived in the struggle and in the humility of poverty. But, I will remember the laughter, the amazing generosity and the grace that so many of them brought into our lives – Judy Bradford’s smile, Huey Farmer’s voice, Robbie Taylor’s earnest optimism and Edward Brandenburg’s sweet gentle spirit. These people offered us so much love and goodness.

There is one name we remember tonight that is very special. Sophia DeBord was born homeless; her first home was the Community Kitchen. Her brief life was one of poverty and struggle and hardship. Her single mother worked hard. She tried desperately to find resources and to keep her family together. But, things went terribly wrong and Sophia died at the age of two. But, even in the tragedy of her death, Sophia changed the world a little. Sophia’s heart went to a one year old in St. Louis, Missouri; Sophia’s kidneys went to an adult in Johnson City, Tennessee. Sophia’s pancreas, liver and intestines went to a four year old in Ohio. All three of these recipients had been given less than 48 hours to live without these transplants. So, on the day she died, Sophia saved three lives. There are so many stories I could tell you of these we remember here tonight. But there is one thing I will tell you: these names, these people, were loved. And they will never be forgotten. And they are not homeless tonight. They are in the home of God, and it is we, dear friends, who are in the far country. But, let us now remember the living. Let us dissolve our apathy and complacency and greed and remember the living. Let us remember the words of Robert Kennedy:

“We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community. Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. But, perhaps we can remember –even if only for a time- that those who live with us are our brothers and sisters, that they share with us the same short movement of life, that they seek- as we do-nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can. Surely this bond of faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our hearts, brothers, sisters and countrymen once again.” Amen.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Increase in Service Requests

Service requests are up up up right now.

We've had a 100% increase in the number of domestic violence service requests. This is a scary thing, suggesting the more and more local families are struggling due to the economy and other factors, and bringing that stress home. Remember, families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population.

That's not all. Our average lunches are now between 220 and 260 people...up from 140-160 last summer; breakfasts have been 100-140, up from 60-80.

People are in need and funds are low.

We need your help today more than ever!

Urgent Needs

We are desperately in need of large and extra large adult coats, blankets and grits.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chattanooga Community Kitchen events November 15 through end of December 2008

1.) Sunday, November 23rd, Fast Day week begins. For nearly 20 years now, the Community Kitchen has requested that members of our Community fast for a day and donate what they would have spent on that day’s meals to support our work. The majority of the Community Kitchen’s operating funds are raised through the Fast Day campaign; although you don’t have to wait until Fast Day, you can make a donation any time. It’s worth giving up a meal!

2.) Monday, November 24th, 7:30pm, UTC’s Roland Hayes Auditorium, Beat Hunger. For more than 10 years, Dr. Monte Coulter and the UTC percussion ensemble have ushered in the Christmas Season by offering a percussion showcase to benefit the Community Kitchen. A $2 donation or two non-perishable food items get you in the door to one of the year’s most entertaining concerts. Come early if you’d like a seat!

3.) Tuesday, November 25th, Barn Nursery 4th Avenue, WMBW Drive-By Turkey Fry. Each year, WMBW (Moody Broadcasting), takes the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to promote the needs of the Community Kitchen. All day long they broadcast from the parking lot of the Barn Nursery, encouraging listeners to come by and donate frozen turkeys and hams as well as non-perishable food items. Monetary donations are also welcome. From 11am-1pm, anyone coming by will receive a free lunch of fried turkey sandwiches, chips and a drink. Be sure to come out and help us beat last year’s results of 625 turkeys and 7.8 tons of food!

4.) Thursday, November 27th, 8:30am Thanksgiving morning, beginning at Coolidge Park, Grateful Gobbler Walk through downtown Chattanooga. Bring your family downtown Thanksgiving morning and participate in a walk to benefit agencies serving the area’s homeless. This great event, sponsored by the Homeless Coalition, serves to promote awareness of homelessness while raising funds. Remember to designate the Community Kitchen as the beneficiary of your contribution! Call 756-4222 to learn more.

4.) Thursday November 27th, Thanksgiving Day, 10am-3pm (meal from 11am-1pm), First Tennessee Pavilion, 1826 Carter Street, Unity in the Community. For the second year in a row, the Community Kitchen is joining with the Salvation Army, Olivet Baptist Church, The City of Chattanooga, The Union Gospel Mission, and many other agencies and churches to celebrate Thanksgiving as a community. Instead of each agency serving a meal in a different location, we are all joining together in unity. Last year, over 600 volunteers assisted in making the event a success. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Kathy Spangler at 756-4222.

5.) Christmas Day, as every other day of the year, the Community Kitchen will be open. A full, restaurant style meal will be served to an estimated 300-400 men, women and children. Those attending will receive gift bags after eating, with special gifts for children. This year, Santa Clause will even stop by for a visit! Those interested in volunteering should call as soon as possible, as spaces fill up quickly.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Welcome to The Community Kitchen Blog!

Welcome to the Community Kitchen's blog. Please check back for updates, current events and news. Thank you for being a part of OUR community!