Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Spring At Community Kitchen Means Fresh, Seasonal Veggies

Executive Director Vicki Pierce credits the entire community, including home gardeners, for donating fresh and seasonal foods to the Community Kitchen.

community kitchen of monroe county

Photo: Annie Corrigan/WFIU

This is the first spring for the Community Kitchen of Monroe County in its new location. The building is 5,400 square feet with additional storage upstairs, over 4 times bigger than their old place.

Season Of Generosity

Spring appears to be here to stay across south-central Indiana, and farmers and gardeners are looking ahead to their first young crops. Organizations dedicated to fighting hunger are also eagerly awaiting the harvest.

Executive Director of the Community Kitchen of Monroe County Vicki Pierce explains that the Kitchen’s free meals include all sorts of seasonal fruits and vegetables given to them by the food bank, plant-a-row for the hungry programs and the farmers market.

She also credits home gardeners for dropping by to donate their excess harvest.

“You may only have two peppers, but somebody else may have another six, and somebody else may have twelve and that allows us to have peppers to do something with them.”

More Space, More Meals

This is the first spring for the Community Kitchen of Monroe County in its new location. The building is 5,400 square feet with additional storage upstairs — over 4 times bigger than the old location.

In 2011, they served 224,000 meals that included many fresh, seasonal foods. Pierce says they are especially concerned with getting healthy food on the plates of children, who make up more than 61 percent of the Kitchen’s patrons.

People have this idea of what a soup kitchen serves and that it’s very meager and really processed, whatever we can throw on a plate. It’s absolutely not. Food is prepared from scratch every day. Every meal has a main entrée, a vegetarian option, a side vegetable, a green salad and fruit.

Grow It Yourself

Future projects for the Kitchen involve hopefully planting a small garden of their own. They’re currently working with Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District to amend the soil in the few small plots of green space on the property. When asked when ingredient the Kitchen would most like to grow, Pierce didn’t hesitate to say onions.

“That’s what we have to buy the most of, and the price of onions has doubled in the last three years,” she says.

If the ground won’t support crops, she hopes they can at least grow their own herbs in containers.

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media