KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Eastman Foundation elected to give $20,000 dollars in grant money to Kitchen of Hope, a Kingsport charity focused on distributing fresh meals to the city’s most vulnerable.
According to a press release by the foundation, the grant is intended to support continued COVID-19 relief efforts in addition to the kitchen’s work that starter in 1996.
Kitchen of Hope reportedly served roughly 30,000 meals annually before COVID-19, which ballooned to 45,000 meals as the community faced financial pressure due to the pandemic.
If the increased demand wasn’t enough, Kitchen of Hope reported fewer vital donations over the course of the year.
“As was the case with many non-profit organizations, COVID-19 brought unique challenges for our program and the people we serve,” said Charlene Harris, director of the board for Kitchen of Hope. “Many of our volunteers were considered high-risk, limiting their ability to work at the kitchen. And with social distancing requirements in place, opening our dining area was not an option. So, we shifted our serving procedures to provide take-out meals.”
This donation serves to further the Eastman Foundation’s goal of reaching $1 million donated to relief work across 2021, according to the release. Areas of focus for grant work include housing, healthcare, childcare and education.