Lowcountry Food Bank celebrated on December 9 its preparation of the two millionth meal created in its Zucker Family Production Kitchen. Anita Zucker – Chair and CEO of the InterTech Group, Monica Scott – Board of Directors Chair, Lowcountry Food Bank, John Tecklenburg – Mayor of the City of Charleston, and Nick Osborne – President and CEO of Lowcountry Food Bank, attended the milestone celebration.
“We live in an age where no one should face the injustice of going hungry,” said Nick Osborne, President and CEO, Lowcountry Food Bank. “The Zucker Family Production Kitchen ensures that the nearly 1 in 5 children who suffer from food insecurity in our community have access to meals to live healthy and happy lives through the Kids Café and Summer Meals programs. Veterans have access to nutritious meals and fresh produce at a time when they need support to get back on their feet. The many seniors who, despite having worked their entire lives, find themselves in situations where they do not have adequate resources, can rely on having access to nutritious meals in order to continue leading healthy, active and productive lives.”
The Zucker Family Production Kitchen, established at the Lowcountry Food Bank’s North Charleston facility in 2010, is a full-scale, commercial kitchen that serves as the epicenter for preparing and distributing meals to fight hunger in our community.
Managed by Lowcountry Food Bank Executive Chef Emily Cookson and Production Kitchen Associate Johnnie Gibson, the kitchen is staffed by 40 dedicated kitchen volunteers who prepare over 4,000 meals each week for our Lowcountry neighbors who experience hunger. Meals are reviewed by two full-time registered dietitians to ensure they are nutritionally balanced and delicious to meet the needs of our neighbors who need food assistance.
Meals prepared in the Zucker Family Production Kitchen serve food insecure children through Lowcountry Food Bank’s Kids Cafe and Summer Meals programs, meals for veterans through Lowcountry Food Bank partnerships with Patriot Villas, the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, and Lowcountry Veterans Home, and seniors meals through Lowcountry Food Bank partnerships with East Cooper Meals on Wheels, Summerville Meals on Wheels, Help of Beaufort, and First Scots Presbyterian Church.
Lowcountry Food Bank Board of Directors Chair, Monica Scott, said “the Zucker Family Production Kitchen is the realization of the vision of the Lowcountry Food Book to prepare healthy, nutritious and appealing meals to children, seniors and veterans. In 2010, when the kitchen was established, it distributed about 6,000 meals. Last year, in 2020, it topped 224,000 meals, so the increase is incredible.”
“Much of what we have been able to achieve over the last 10 years in the Zucker Family Production Kitchen would not have been possible without the support of individuals like Anita Zucker,” said Osborne. “Anita, we thank you for your unwavering support, inspiration and investment in the lives and livelihoods of our neighbors – seeking ways and means to provide opportunities to learn and grow, and ultimately succeed in life.”
“We wanted to ensure when this kitchen was created back in 2010 that children would have access to a hot nutritious meal every single day,” said Anita Zucker, Chair and CEO, the InterTech Group. “For me, feeding mind, body and soul is just so important, because without food, you can’t nourish your body – whether it’s children, seniors, adults or veterans. All people deserve the opportunity to be able to use their mind, body, and soul to allow them to become successful individuals in our world. What better way to repair the world than to nourish people with healthy food.”
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