As we reflect on the past year, the Cornerstone Community Kitchen is overwhelmed with gratitude for the incredible support and contributions we've received from our community. In 2023, we witnessed a surge in generosity and camaraderie that enabled us to continue our mission of providing nutritious meals and assistance to those in need. Let's take a closer look at the remarkable milestones and accomplishments we achieved together.
Partnering with FoodShare
One of the cornerstones of our success in 2023 was our partnership with FoodShare. Through this collaboration, we received an astounding 112,558 pounds of food. This included dry goods and the majority of the protein that we serve in our daily meals. This partnership not only filled our pantry but also fueled our commitment to helping those facing food insecurity.
Mobile Food Share Experience
In our efforts to reach even more people, we sponsored a Mobile Food Share experience that benefited 2,040 individuals in our community. This initiative was a significant step in ensuring that nutritious food reaches those who may have otherwise struggled to access it. It's heartwarming to see our community come together to make a difference in the lives of so many.
Support from MidWest Food Bank
Our friends at MidWest Food Bank in Manchester also played a crucial role in supporting our mission. They contributed 34,586 pounds of food and other supplies, further bolstering our resources to meet the needs of our community.
Community In-Kind Donations
The outpouring of support didn't stop with these larger organizations. Our community's in-kind donations amounted to an incredible $116,492. These contributions are a testament to the compassion and dedication of the people who believe in our cause.
The Power of Volunteers
Behind the scenes, our dedicated volunteers poured in over 2,100 hours of their time and effort. These volunteers don't just cook; they wash dishes, serve meals, clean, drive, and offer various forms of service assistance. Their commitment is the backbone of our operation, and we are profoundly grateful for their selflessness.
A New Community Project
In 2023, we embarked on a new community project in collaboration with the Vernon Housing Authority. At their five housing locations, we provide a "free shopping experience" to residents who may face difficulties in accessing essential items. This project, initiated by and continued in memory of Bryan Flint, Sr., is a touching tribute to his legacy and the impact he made in our community.
Meals Served with Love
Ultimately, our mission is to provide nourishment and support to those in need. In 2023, we served a total of 25,540 lunch meals and 19,045 dinner meals. While it is unfortunate that such a need exists, it is incredibly satisfying to know that we can make a difference in the lives of those who walk through our doors every day.
The Cornerstone Community Kitchen's journey in 2023 was marked by unwavering community support, dedication from volunteers, and impactful partnerships. Together, we have proven that when a community comes together with a shared mission, incredible things can happen. As we move forward, we are filled with gratitude for all who have made our work possible, and we look forward to another year of serving our community with love and compassion. Thank you for being a part of our incredible journey!
Community Kitchen Administrator