New equipment, almost ready expansion to the Isabella community soup kitchen

Community soup kitchen Isabella (ICSK) more than doubled the number of meals it serves since the beginning of the pandemic there 18 months. But not in the usual way.

“Due to COVID, we had to pivot all of our on-site catering operations to a contactless drive-thru so that we could still provide the much-needed food to our customers,” says Sarah Adkins, Director executive.

Where they once served 90 to 100 guests a day, the soup kitchen now regularly serves up to 275 meals a day. The center serves take-out lunches on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Sarah Adkins, Executive Director of the Isabella Community Soup Kitchen.
“Our numbers are still very high, which tells me what is really happening in the world in terms of how the pandemic has affected people’s lives,” Adkins said. “Food insecurity is very real in our community.

This fall, all meals were prepared off-site and brought by truck to their location at 621 S. Adams Street in Mt. Pleasant. Indeed, the association is still awaiting delivery of the new commercial kitchen equipment ordered months ago.

“Unfortunately, this project, as all construction projects at the moment, feeling the effects of a labor shortage and limited availability of supply,” she said.

In addition to the replacement of obsolete equipment, the soup has recently completed a major expansion which included additional dining rooms, bathrooms without hindrance, a new entrance and offices. This project was made possible thanks to a fundraising campaign of $ 500,000 carried out just before the pandemic.

“We strive to deliver all the equipment and open our doors to on-site dining for our guests,” she said.

Adkins says none of this work would have been possible without the generous support of the community.

“It’s really the community that decides it’s important to tackle food insecurity here,” she says. “Because of them, we’ve been providing free meals for 30 years – and we want to make sure we can continue to do so for another 30 years. ”

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