Thelma's Kitchen, donate-what-you-can cafe, 'will be open as long as we can'

Posted at 5:23 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 18:23:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — This week, Thelma's Kitchen started serving to-go lunches for the community as city, state and federal mandates restricted how many people could gather in a place.

Thelma's, located at 3101 Troost Ave. in Kansas City, Missouri, is the city's first donate-what-you-can cafe.

With increased COVID-19 concerns, layoffs and limited food availability in some areas, Thelma's is doing what it can to help.

"Right now, not only is there a big homeless initiative that we're tied in with with other agencies, but what we're seeing is the increased need of the working poor and those who are just being laid off," Executive Director of Reconcilation Services Father Justin Mathews said. "You have a lot of people who have never asked for help before and might not know where to go, so we want everyone to know that Thelma's Kitchen and Reconciliation Services is staying open and we're here to serve the community in need."

Mathews said Thelma's Kitchen plans to stay open for as long as it's able.

"We want to keep our community healthy and safe and we want to provide a healthy hot meal to anybody who needs it," he said.

At 11 a.m. on Friday, people lined up to receive a free hot meal. Staff and volunteers also brought hot meals to passengers on RideKC transit.

Johnson County, KS
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