Cooking to Heat Up at The Kitchen

Five days a week, a Wichita Falls center serves up hot meals for people in four Wichita Falls programs.

It amounts to around 1,500 meals each day, but tomorrow, two programs served by this center will expand, meaning... work for employees at The Kitchen will really heat up.

Workers at The Kitchen cook and serve about 150 hot meals for seniors at both the Red Door and Green Door in Wichita Falls.

They also dish up and deliver more than 750 daily meals to clients in the Meals in Wheels program, as well as 450 hot meals to students in nearly all locations of the food bank's Kids Cafe program.

But on October 1st, The Kitchen will become even busier.

Between then and November 1st, 150 new clients will be gradually added to its delivery list.

So, instead of serving up more than 750 daily meals for this program.... the number will increase to 900.

And... October 1st is also when The Kitchen will start preparing and packaging hot meals for all 9 area Kids Cafe locations.

The increase here?

From 450 daily meals to 600.

So, to accommodate the extra 150 meals to the Kids Cafe program, the food bank purchased more than half a dozen of these insulted transporters so they could get hot meals to all of those kids.

The Kitchen officials have already taken steps to handle the increased cooking.

"We have gone to a full staff scheduling. They were working part time now they're completely full time. Doing a lot of the prep in the afternoon for the next day meal," says Jackie Hamm, executive director of The Kitchen.

The Kitchen was given a choice to just say no to the added workload but officials say the increased need in the community made declining impossible.

"We just couldn't do it. I talked to my kitchen supervisor and her attitude was 'bring it on.' People need to be fed and we're gonna make sure they get fed," adds Hamm.

With all of the extra meals, The Kitchen officials expect the number of meals prepared there over the next year to be 416,000.

So, to help ease the workload they are currently interviewing to add more employees to the 11 member staff.

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