Over 8,000 healthy, nutritious meals have been distributed.
Rincon Brewery Ventura joins forces with two non-profits to help feed Ventura County Foster/Resource Families, Kinship Families, Adoptive Families, and Bio-families currently working with Children and Family Services
Kids & Families Together (K&FT) is a nonprofit that has been serving foster/resource, adoptive, kinship, and birth families throughout Ventura County since 2000. K&FT works with children who have experienced trauma, abuse, neglect, loss, and multiple placements. K&FT also works with caregivers who need specialized education, support, and strategies to help raise safe, healthy, nurtured children that thrive.
Having hosted and catered events for K&FT over the last two years, the owners of Rincon Brewery Ventura (located at 4100 Telegraph Road) are well aware of the needs of the families served by K&FT.
Word Central Kitchen (WCK) founded over 10 years ago, by Chef José Andrés, is no stranger to Ventura County.
In early April, the owners and management of Rincon Brewery reached out to WCK offering to re-open their Ventura restaurant to make a difference in the Ventura community. By mid-April the restaurant’s focused shifted from feeding first responders to helping to feed members of the local community that were in need. On Thursday April 16th, Rincon Brewery presented the idea to K&FT. Within three days, staff rallied and K&FT was prepared to distribute meals.
This effort has been ongoing, six days a week since April 20th. Over one third of the K&FT staff have participated in this effort, with some putting in countless hours managing the distribution site, organizing delivery lists and loading meals into boxes for pickup. The agency has also received help from a small army of local volunteers who have generously given their own time in this effort. Over 70 individual volunteers have worked side by side with K&FT and Rincon Brewery, some volunteers putting in multiple shifts each week!
At the start of each day both staff and volunteers circle up (making sure to remain six feet apart) for the “morning gathering” where Rincon Brewery co-owner Luisa Hyatt or, on some mornings, Chef Stroh rallies the group with words of inspiration, feedback from families receiving the meals or sharing the “love note” going out with that day’s meal. K&FT’s Therapy Dog, Charles is there several mornings each week ready to greet the families as they drive-thru and have the meals placed in the trunk of their car. Yamaoka Flowers, an area flower grower, donated buckets of flowers that were arranged into gorgeous bouquets and present to families in honor of Mother’s Day. K&FT has distributed coloring sheets, crayons and a list of “100 Ways to Have Fun Together as a Family While Quarantined” to families picking up meals. One of the most touching moments was when a family brought Chef Stroh a “thank you book” with pictures of all the meals he has prepared for them.
To date, over 8,000 healthy, nutritious, chef-prepared meals have been distributed to families across the county, from Ventura’s Westside to Oxnard and all the way out to Simi Valley. Response from families has been extremely positive!
For those interested in volunteering at the distribution site or those willing to help make deliveries please sign up via this link, created with the help of Ventura County Fire Department. https://vcfd.galaxydigital.com/need/?agency_id=112680
Financial donations to support this effort can be made via this link. https://mailchi.mp/kidsandfamilies.org/mealdistribution