St. Michael’s Community Kitchen seeks volunteers

Lauren Blair
Lynn Falloon and Kandee Dilldine dish up a plate of homemade beef and noodles and green beans donated fresh from the garden for a patron of St. Michael's Community Kitchen Tuesday morning. The volunteer-run organization is feeling the crunch from a shortage of volunteers, and organizer Robin Schiffbauer hopes to find at least 10 to 20 more people who can help out at least once per month.
Lauren Blair

— Hundreds of Craig residents rely on St. Michael’s Community Kitchen for a meal or two every week, however a shortage of volunteers is putting a strain on the operation.

The community kitchen, located in the basement of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, opens its doors to anyone who needs a meal or even to those who just need some company from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Tuesday and 4 to 6 p.m. Thursdays. The kitchen feeds about 150 people each day.

“When I started, Robin said, you don’t question who needs it, you just give them food,” said volunteer Tom Gilchrist.

The community kitchen is organized by Robin Schiffbauer, who said this is the first time they’ve struggled to find enough volunteers in their six years of existence.

“If there’s anybody out there who would like to help, we would certainly appreciate it,” Schiffbauer said. “My poor crew is getting a little ragged.”

Already about 50 volunteers keep the wheels of the kitchen turning by doing kitchen duty on Tuesdays and Thursdays — including cooking, serving and cleanup — as well as delivering meals to homebound residents. Volunteer drivers, such as Gilchrist, also pick up food donations five days a week from Walmart, The Memorial Hospital and City Market.

“There’s nothing I don’t enjoy about (volunteering),” Gilchrist said, who helps out for about six hours every Tuesday. “Even the work is fun. The people here are all great and fun to work with.”

The greatest need is on Thursday afternoons, though the kitchen could use extra servers and cleanup crew for both days. Even an hour helps, longtime volunteer Kandee Dilldine said. Schiffbauer estimates that they could use about 10 to 20 more volunteers to make a once-a-month commitment.

Some local organizations, such as Craig Rotary Club, volunteer to do a meal once a month or once per quarter.

“Money’s tight. There are people out there that need this food,” said Bradley Cordle, who regularly volunteers and also eats at the community kitchen.

For more information or to sign up to volunteer, contact Robin Schiffbauer at 970-824-7148 or 970-629-8042.

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