WIUM Tristates Public Radio

A New Home for the Knox Prairie Community Kitchen

Jun 25, 2018

The Knox Prairie Community Kitchen (KPCK) provides free community dinners twice a month in Galesburg.  The dinners will continue but beginning in July 2018 they will be held at a new location: the First Baptist Church of Galesburg at 169 South Cherry Street.

For about the past six years they have taken place at the Central Congregational Church in Galesburg.

“It’s been a wonderful environment. We’ve really appreciated their support,” said Mariangela Maguire, Vice President of the KPCK Board. She said Central Congregational is going through some changes so the KPCK board started discussing a possible change of venue last fall.

“They’ve (Central Congregational) been very welcoming. They haven’t urged us to leave.  But they’re trying to figure out their future so we have to figure out our future,” Maguire said.

She said First Baptist – like Central Congregational – is centrally located in town so it will be easy for guests to attend the new location.  In addition, everything at First Baptist will be on the first floor and the building is air conditioned.

KPCK will hold one more community dinner at Central Congregational on June 28.  The first dinner at First Baptist will be held July 12. The dinners take place on the second and fourth Thursday of each month and are open to everyone.  The doors open at 5:00 p.m.

“We hope to address food insecurity issues but we also are really here to build community,” Maguire said, adding that 20-25 people volunteer at every meal and around 100 people dine.  “To see people from all across Galesburg and the surrounding communities interact with each other is really a great time.  It’s a lot of fun.”

The meals are prepared locally.  Maguire said the group follows the health department’s standards and works out of a health department certified kitchen.

And the meals are tasty. “We get a lot of compliments. The cooks take it very seriously to provide something that’s pleasing to people when they come in,” said Tamby Peterson, President of the KPCK Board.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, canned and boxed foods, and personal hygiene products are also available to those who attend the dinners.

Knox Prairie Community Kitchen is an all-volunteer group supported by donations.  It is not affiliated with any religion.