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January 27, 2023

The People's Kitchen seeks volunteers to help cook free, daily meals

The organization was launched in 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, to address food insecurity in Philadelphia

Social Justice Volunteering
peoples kitchen.png Provided image/People's Kitchen

The People's Kitchen serves 100 daily, freshly cooked meals to Philadelphians in need. Pictured above are Benjamin Miller (program director), Alexandria-D'or Leggett, (community engagement director) and Carlos Valencia (volunteer).

If you're looking to hone your cooking skills and help the community, look no further.

The People's Kitchen, a partnership between South Philly Barbacoa and the 215 People’s Alliance, announced on their Instagram that they are looking for volunteers to help unload deliveries, distribute and cook, so they can keep providing 100 daily meals to Philadelphia residents in need.

Those who are interested in contributing can apply on their website. 

Formed in March 2020, the People's Kitchen serves free meals made with natural ingredients out of their outpost at 1149 South 9th Street between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. The menu rotates daily, but past dishes have included pork fried rice with sautéed black beans, braised turkey with greens and white beans and turkey chili with squash and rice.

The People's Kitchen hopes to have between four to six volunteers in the kitchen, seven days a week. After the cooking is done, the meals are distributed outside their storefront, where people can take a platter if they want. Once the kitchen closes at 11 a.m., the leftover platters are stored in their community fridge in front of their building, and people can take a meal as they walk by.

"You will be in the kitchen with a trained chef," Alexandria-D'or Leggett, community engagement director, said. "This will be a great opportunity to get your feet wet and to experience what working in a kitchen looks like," she said. 

The People's Kitchen makes two different meals, one vegetarian and one for meat eaters, each labeled according to dietary restrictions. Some ingredients are provided by food banks, but they also receive monetary donations to purchase ingredients to make the meals. An urban garden in West Philly further provides them with different fruits and vegetables.

Leggett said the organization, which was founded to address hunger and employment emergencies brought on by COVID-19, is continuing to fight food insecurity in the city. According to the U.S Census, 22.3% of the Philly population lives below the poverty line. 

"Its a shame we are living in a city that is known for so many restaurants, but people are coming to us for a hot meal."