S.A.L.T. Box Kitchen provides hot meals in Stark County
Mar 20, 2018
“Offering a hot meal in our church has opened my eyes to the need in our small community,” explained Brenda White, S.A.L.T. Box coordinator. “I’ll never forget when a little boy came in with his family, and he said he was starving and so excited for this meal.”
It’s memories like those, and of the smiling faces and full bellies who leave dinner at S.A.L.T. Box Kitchen that has kept Brenda volunteering since 2009 when the program began. S.A.L.T. Box Kitchen, a ministry of St. John Lutheran Church in Canal Fulton, is a hunger-relief program of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank offering a hot meal in Stark County two days per month.
Would you like a second helping, is the question S.A.L.T. Box volunteers love to ask clients after eating their dinner. “We’re proud of the good, hearty meals we offer our community members,” laughed Brenda. “We love to hear, ‘I can’t eat another bite!’”
S.A.L.T. Box Kitchen serves approximately 100 individuals at each meal, feeding more than 2,600 people in 2017. The program is completely volunteer-driven, from menu planning, food procurement, cooking and serving the meal and clean-up. Various organizations sign up to cook each week, and if there are any leftovers, volunteers will deliver those meals to the community members who weren’t in attendance, due to transportation or mobility limitations.
In addition to receiving regular food orders, S.A.L.T. Box Kitchen takes advantage of the MarketPlace at the Foodbank. The MarketPlace is filled with perishable items donated to the Foodbank that must be distributed quickly. Brenda and her volunteers are able to peruse this area to pick-up bread, baked goods, dairy items, including milk and eggs, and fresh produce, all for free.
“There’s no way we could afford to do what we do without the Foodbank,” said Brenda. “They have been there every time we have a critical need, and they offer us so many opportunities to help feed our community members.”
S.A.L.T. Box Kitchen has also received facility supplies from the Foodbank through its non-food distributions and enjoys the informational roundtable events offered to learn best practices from other hunger-relief organizations.