Restaurant prepares meals for other nonprofits
Women and Children's Free Restaurant and Community Kitchen (WCFR) is in full gear distributing prepared meals and groceries to as many women, families and organizations as possible, said Lisa Diffley, executive director.
As of March 16, the 32-year old nonprofit discontinued its dining-in program and shifted to distribution of bags of groceries and prepared meals in tents in their parking lot.
The restaurant distributed 600 meals on the first day. The next day, it provided 3,465.
"We are prepared to distribute 6,000 to 7,000 meals per week for as long as needed, provided we have funds to pay our small staff and purchase safety and packaging supplies. We rely heavily on food donations from pass-thru organizations, food vendors and grocers," said Lisa.
The restaurant's small staff and volunteers are doing their best to keep up with increased needs.
Among those volunteers is Sue Elmer, who has donated time to the restaurant for nearly six years.
She approaches volunteering with energy and compassion for others. During this unparalleled time of need, Sue has worked every shift in the "takeout tent" waving in cars and handing out boxes and bags of meals and groceries, said Lisa.
Restaurant personnel protect themselves with social distancing, gloves and facemasks stitched by Karen Cockburn, the mother of a WCFR's employee.
"A colorful mask may cover Sue's smile, but she has a twinkle in her eye that lets families know they don't need to worry about having enough food," said Lisa.
WCFR and women like Sue will be there for them every Tuesday and Wednesday at 1408 N. Washington St.
In addition to takeout meals, the restaurant delivers meals to nonprofits across the community. Many of these organizations operate shelters without the capacity to prepare enough meals.
Women & Children's Free Restaurant is a licensed, full service restaurant with a commercial kitchen and a staff of seven.
"Our goal for 2020 was to provide 100,000 meals. There is no question that we'll need to increase our output and go well beyond that number," said Diffley.
WCFR is distributing meals to Anna Ogden Hall, Catholic Charities Rising Strong, Crosswalk, Cup of Cool Water, Hope House Respite Care, Hope House Shelter, Odyssey Youth Movement, Open Doors Family Promise, Our Place Ministries, Partners with Families and Children, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Shadle Park Presbyterian, Southwest Community Center, SPEAR Ministries, Spokane Resource Center, St. Margaret's Shelter, Transitional Living Center, Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, Women's Hearth, and YWCA of Spokane.
For information, call 324-1995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, April, 2020