The Knox Prairie Community Kitchen served a record 180 people on Tuesday, May 3 and saw an explosion of volunteers from the Knox community.
The basement of Central Congregational Church was filled with a lively atmosphere as 280 meals were given out with the help of around 20 Knox students, faculty and friends. This KPCK meal was the kickoff for a weekend of events surrounding President Teresa Amott’s installation.
“The point of the organization is to bring various diverse groups together for a meal,” Assistant Professor of Political Science and board member of KPCK Daniel Beers said, “and just to foster neighborliness.”
The organization saw more than a doubling of the number of Knox community members involved, and many of the volunteers wanted to return for future events.
“I think all of us get stuck in our Knox bubble,” junior Stephanie Fore said. “I will be here next time.”
For Amott, it was a chance to begin her installation with helping the Galesburg community and, most importantly, listening to people.
“It’s just the breadth of people coming together around the simple notion of a meal,” Amott said. “I’m talking to people about getting their story … I’m trying to get a feeling of Galesburg.”
Faculty and students noticed the need for the program and were happy to help out.
“There is clearly a need and this is satisfying that need,” Professor of Anthropology Nancy Eberhardt said. “I have really enjoyed myself. … I liked chatting with people. People really enjoyed having someone to talk to.”
The bi-monthly meal program added an additional meal this month due to the support from the college and the want for a meal along with Amott’s installation.
“We are very thankful for the support we have gotten from the college,” Beers said. This lasting support has included food donated from Dining Services and monetary support from President Amott and it has helped the organization function on their limited funds.
For anyone who wants to volunteer at the next meal on May 17, they can sign up on the KPCK website.