Our community kitchen provides fresh and healthy meals to those in need using a combination of ingredients and produce grown on-site, donated or purchased. The kitchen serves lunch and dinner, with each meal including a fresh salad.
Funded by United Way, the community kitchen program prepares and delivers more than 100,000 meals each year across the Des Moines metro, especially in neighborhoods where poverty levels range from 25–33% (U.S. Census, 2000).
The program is operated by kitchen staff, job trainees, and a network of volunteers, all working together to provide and serve meals. About 55–65% of meals are donated by volunteers, which expands our budget by at least $20,000 per month. CISS’ kitchen training program provides employment to about 15 men and women each year—providing on-the-job training and necessary skills for long-term employment and continued self-sufficiency.