BY ANDREW HEISERMAN
ROCHELLE – Local non-profit organization The Kitchen Table has resumed serving meals to diners in person as businesses across the country begin to re-open.
Pay-what-you-can café The Kitchen Table, located at 7034 S. Klondike Road in Rochelle, provides meals to those in need every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Diners show up, are served a meal and then pay whatever they can afford, even if it is volunteering their time or nothing at all.
The Kitchen Table officially resumed serving meals to outdoor diners on Tuesday, June 2 and hopes to continue doing so. Since re-opening, The Kitchen Table has seen a great response from the community.
“Both nights this week we have been really busy, so it is a good thing that we could re-open,” said Carolyn Brown, Kitchen Table founder. “Both nights we served over 100 people through dine-in, delivery and pick-up.”
Every Friday during quarantine, The Kitchen Table has offered a free drive-up service for take and bake meal entrees. In addition to serving meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays, The Kitchen Table plans to continue offering its take and bake service due to need in the community.
“The Friday take and bake program is going exceptionally well,” Brown said. “Last week we had over 500 meals and they were gone in an hour and 15 minutes.”
While The Kitchen Table cannot allow diners inside of the building to eat, it is utilizing its recent building expansion next door to accommodate as many diners as possible. The new structure has garage doors that open, classifying it as an outdoor dining space.
All tables have been measured and marked off to the proper 6-foot distance and can fit up to 24 diners safely. The Kitchen Table is also following CDC guidelines by wearing masks at all times, offering hand sanitizer and hand washing stations and even setting up a port-a-potty outside to keep diners from entering the building.
The Kitchen Table is also offering its curbside pick-up and delivery services. Anybody using the curbside service must order ahead by calling The Kitchen Table at 815-561-9074 or online at http://www.toasttab.com/the-kitchen-table-rochelle. Once the individual has arrived, they call The Kitchen Table and a volunteer will bring the food out.
Next Tuesday, The Kitchen Table will be serving shredded brisket with mashed potatoes and green beans. Then, on Thursday it will be serving grilled BBQ chicken, potato salad and hopes to have a mixed green salad as well. The Kitchen Table is very happy to once again be serving diners in person and wants to give a big thank you to the community for its support during these tough times.
“Through the virus our numbers never really dropped, we just had to change the way we did things,” Brown said. “We are thankful for everybody supporting us, we have been very blessed.”