The Wellness Kitchen to officially close its doors
Submitted by Nancy Walker, Founding Director of the Wellness Kitchen:
Dearest Supporters, Staff, and Volunteers of The Wellness Kitchen,
It is with sweet sadness that the Board of Directors and I have made the decision to officially close the doors of The Wellness Kitchen. Our challenges with the 2018/2019 building fire, and COVID-19 following on its heels, our capabilities of pulling through financially became overwhelming.
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to start an organization like this here in our county. It was truly a labor of love, started 10 years ago, in memory of my dad and in honor of my mother, to help others in need while dealing with a health crisis. The Wellness Kitchen was unique…thoughtfully planned out with quality and care. And it attracted the best in board members, staff, volunteers, and patrons… in other words…all of you!
We were blessed with very special staff members over the past 10 years. Each chosen because of their personality, integrity, passion, and ability to listen and care for others. I love seeing how many staff members have since moved on and have become incredible patrons of service in our community!
We had an abundance of incredible volunteers who supported us, some for many years, and I am so grateful you chose the Wellness Kitchen to donate your valuable time and skill. It fills me with joy to hear of the friendships that were created within these doors and the healing of hearts that needed to find a place to belong.
This type of venture could not have been tackled alone; not only because of the enormous task of planning, shopping, and preparing delicious and nutritious meals, but together, we “put the love into each dish” which was felt by so many. The love that was created by all our work together! From greeting guests and answering phones, posting social media, maintaining our kitchen and the cleanliness of our bags and dishes…to Monday’s “Salad Sisters”…prep work by the “Tuesday Club”…“Wednesday Wonders” (I named you all this! What cooking skills and talent you all had!)…and our Thursday and Friday Volunteers who worked hard getting us ready for the next week with pre-cutting, pre-cooking, and last but definitely not least…accounting, posting, filing, and various administrative tasks! I appreciate all the hours spent teaching, community outreach, event planning, and the hard task of fundraising. And of course, our board of directors, past and present, who volunteered their time to steer this ship and guide us. What an honor and a blessing it was to meet and work with so many amazing people!
And lastly, thank you to those who supported us financially. Through your donations, attending our classes, supporting our meal programs, or participating in our events, you helped us continue our mission of providing meals to those facing a health crisis, and offering nutrition education to kids, teens, adults, and caregivers who were working hard to care for their loved ones. You helped make it all happen!
My hope is that when the doors of the Wellness Kitchen close, another one opens with someone passionate and caring for others, whose vision is to do what we did here…and make it even better!
Let us hope that our county (country and world) can pull through this virus and become healthier so we can gather and celebrate us! A time to pat each other on the back for a job well done! (Date, location, and time to be determined.)
In closing, thank you again, from the deepest part of my heart for sharing a part of you to our Wellness Kitchen. “We done good.”
Founder, Executive Director, Therapeutic Chef
The following are recommendations to help with your nutrition needs:
Naida Freeman, Therapeutic Chef
Haley Garelli, Registered Dietician Nutritionist and Diabetes Care Education Specialist
Phone: (805) 296-1009
Margaret Pauls, FNTP – Nutrition Therapy Educator
Phone: (805) 234-6406