A Kalamazoo homeless shelter, Ministry with Community, hosted its twelfth annual Chefs Against Hunger event on March 20, raising over $30,000.
The event, held at downtown Kalamazoo’s Cityscape, was hosted by Zhang Financial. Ten local chefs, each paired with a Kalamazoo community member as their sous chef, were given 45 minutes to cook a three course meal using only ingredients found in the shelter’s kitchen and three “secret” ingredients announced just before the timer started, Executive Director Kelly Henderson said in an email interview.
“Chefs Against Hunger was created to highlight the challenges that Ministry with Community’s cooks face in providing breakfast and lunch daily, utilizing food donated from individuals and businesses in our community and a budgeted amount of purchased food,” Henderson said.
This year’s Chefs Against Hunger winners were Chef Quincy Botsford of Bold Dining and his sous chef Wendy Sosville. Chef Christine Brown of Pretty Lake Camp and her sous chef Annie Henn received the People’s Choice Award.
“The funds raised by the event help Ministry with Community procure the additional food needed to create balanced, nutritious meals to serve hundreds of people everyday,” Henderson said.
Ministry with Community, founded in 1978, is a daytime shelter that serves breakfast and lunch 365 days out of the year.
“Staff and volunteers welcome “members” when they drop-in to do their laundry, take a shower, get a haircut, volunteer, pick up their mail, enjoy a cup of coffee, find support for their recovery, seek help in sending for birth records, see a social worker or simply rest,” according to Ministry with Community’s website.
The shelter is extremely grateful for the support it receives from the Kalamazoo community. Without this support, Ministry with Community would not be able to provide support for adults experiencing homelessness, mental illness, poverty and other life challenges, Henderson said.
Many people the shelter serves, known as members, come to receive services and also volunteer to serve meals, clean, unload groceries and organize social events. This creates an environment of positive self-esteem and hope for the future, according to Ministry with Community’s website.
“We aim to help our members (the people we serve) be empowered to make positive life changes,” Henderson said.