OLATHE, KS. — The Kindness Kitchen at Journey Bible Church in Olathe, Kansas is providing hot meals for families struggling financially during the pandemic.
This includes people in quarantine or isolation because of COVID-19 and front line workers needing relief after months of long-hours and emotionally draining situation.
Brandon Champagne is the community impact leader at Journey Bible Church.
He says Kindness Kitchen started in March after the church noticed more people needed food because of the pandemic.
The church upgraded it's kitchen to meet code for a professional production kitchen and went to work making hot and nutritional meals.
"Food brings people together and its also a basic necessity and so it just makes sense to bring food and kindness together," Champagne said.
Chef Greg Reynolds is the former pastry chef at the DoubleTree Hotel in Overland Park, Kansas.
He said he never imagined he would be preparing meals for homeless and people struggling financially.
"I always thought it would be just a venture to make money and focus on profitability," Reynolds said.
Now he sees the Kindness Kitchen as his calling.
"Kindness I think is so missing in our culture today," Reynolds said. "We've helped people through quarantine situations and basic, like door-dashes where we're dropping meals on their door for two weeks of quarantining."
According to Champagne, hot meal-delivery started in July after the kitchen upgrade.
"Olathe, Gardner and Overland Park, and they send families to us," Champagne said. "They say, hey we know some children who don't have food this week and you help out."
"We have a pantry with food to give the them, we have hot meals made by the chef here and frozen meals made by the chef as well," Champagne said.
A hot meal isn't the only benefit. Jennifer Simmons is a member of Journey Bible Church and a Kindness Kitchen volunteer.
"I've gotten to know my neighbors better just by simply bringing them a meal once a week and checking in on them, making sure they don't have any needs or prayer requests so things like that that I can help them with," Simmons said.
Chef Reynolds is already thinking about expanding the Kindness Kitchen and hosting free hot meals in neighborhoods.
"Putting the Kindness Kitchen on wheels maybe with a food truck or some different help that could be fun," Reynolds said.
He also wants to share the Kindness Kitchen with other churches, so more communities in the Kansas City area can rebound from this pandemic.
The church is looking for more help. People interested in volunteering can register here.
There are multiple ways to volunteer. From delivering meals to home, to working in the kitchen and handing out meals during drive-through events.
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