Community Kitchen organizers expect to serve the first meal that Wednesday at the building next the VAC (Voluntary Action Center).
Previously planned for March 2011, the kitchen’s opening has been pushed back due to the fact that funding for some aspects is still up in the air, according to VAC Director Stacy Long. One grant that has yet to be allocated for the project would provide lumber and building supplies.
“We don’t want to jump ahead and spend money on those items in case the grant comes through,” said Long.
The Bikers Edge business, which shares a parking lot with the VAC, will soon be ending its three-year stay at its current location; that building is owned by the VAC.
According to Long, Community Kitchen organizers plan to take advantage of the open building rather than finding a new renter. The Community Kitchen will be housed there until its permanent location — an existing building also located next to the VAC — is ready.
The temporary building will be officially back in the VAC’s possession June 1, and the VAC board will be serving spaghetti as a first meal June 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. After the first week, churches and community organizations will be providing the meals every Wednesday at the same time.
Long specified that the Community Kitchen will be open to anybody who has a need with no stipulations.
“We will be keeping statistics of how many men, women and children come in,” said Long. “We will need that information to provide to the food bank when we start asking for food,”
The VAC officials are expecting to serve about 50 people the first week. Churches are encouraged to contact the VAC if they would like to volunteer to serve a meal one week. They would need to provide the food, drinks, ice, and the paper and plastic plates and utensils. Without a kitchen at the temporary location, churches are also asked to bring crockpots and heating plates.
“We want to provide a hot meal if possible,” said Long.
The kitchen will eventually phase into serving lunch five days a week once it moves to its permanent location next door. The VAC also hopes to obtain food from the Atlanta Food Bank at that time. Currently there is not space to store food. Until the opening of the permanent Community Kitchen, the Voluntary Action Center is asking for only monetary donations due to storage issues.
If churches and groups would like to serve a meal, they can contact the VAC at 706-629-7283. For more information about the VAC, visit www.voluntaryactioncenter.org.