Gods Kitchen in a non profit ministry dedicated to serving home bound and less fortunate residents of Putnam County. Our new location and kitchen is located at 2000 Silver Lake Dr. Palatka FL
The idea of God's Kitchen began in 2014 as a Hospice Chaplain began noticing the need for a food source for the spouses of his clients in Putnam County Florida. He began exploring the local resources and found it lacking. The only resource had a two-year waiting list and at best only provided frozen foods. These folks needed more than this. After retirement in 2015 the chaplain could not forget his experience with hospice. He began research on how to provide cooked ready to eat meals to older people who were home bound and/or in financial need which put them at nutritional risk.
In June of 2016 we took our first client. Food was provided by a local restaurant. The office was the cab of an f-150 ford pickup truck. Equipment was a laptop and note book parked near any place with Internet access (usually the local library) and business calls were made and received via personal cell phone. Deliveries were made three days per week. Monday two meals (one for Monday and one for Tuesday) Wednesday and two on Thursday (one for Thursday and one for Friday). The chaplain had to work part time. This provided one meal a day for the week. No meals were provided on weekends. By the end of 2016 God's Kitchen had made much progress. We had made a partnership with a local Nursing Home to provide the meals. We had moved from the truck to an office with donated furnishings and a computer and had provided 450 meals for 34 clients that year. We had attained our 501(C)(3) and other state documents to prove our not for profit status and became incorporated. We developed a working Board of Directors and wrote our by-laws and we had three volunteers delivering meals and been awarded our first grant. We continued to grow realizing the need was much more than anticipated.
Today in 2019 we are providing meals for 70 or more clients at about 1,200 meals per month and have an outstanding partnership with the Interlachen Soup Kitchen. Last year we served over 13,000 meals. Along with growth comes new priorities. We see the need to visit our clients with open eyes. We have found the where there is a need for food there are other needs as well. If a person can't buy food how can the fix their roof after a hurricane or fix a toilet or mow their grass. We fill this gap by referring them to other agencies who can provide them the help they need. We also know most of our clients have spiritual needs. We are currently looking for a volunteer chaplain.
Our financial needs are simple. Fuel costs are always at the forefront. It’s hard to budget a cost that is so unpredictable in the market place. As our number of clients grow the cost of containers becomes a priority, as well.
This year our prayer is to find our own kitchen, so growth may continue. We love the soup kitchen and appreciate their commitment to us, but they can only provide us a limited number of meals. Our kitchen would allow unlimited growth. We are anxious to see where the Lord takes us in the future. After all, it is "His kitchen", not ours.
Update: Our prayers have been answered. In 2020 we were blessed to obtain a new kitchen on 2000 Silver Lake Dr in Palatka with many thanks going to the amazing folks from the Knights of Columbus who previously occupied the premises.