Feed Our Future: Case Statement
“My biggest challenge is to maintain my sense of dignity and self-worth while struggling with unemployment. WCFR has provided me and my children with healthy, complete meals when my budget could not afford it. They make us feel welcome and treat us with respect. That’s a good feeling when life is not going so well.”
This diner explains why Women & Children’s Free Restaurant & Community Kitchen (WCFR) exists. It exists for women like her and her family, who don’t have enough to eat, whose physical and mental health suffers from lack of good nutrition, or who are alone and need a connection to the community.
Since 1988, WCFR has provided nutritious meals to low-income women and children in a safe and welcoming atmosphere in Spokane. What began with a few casseroles has turned into a full-scale restaurant operation serving 90,000 meals per year. Many of these women are single mothers, disabled women, the working poor and the elderly. During summer months, children sometimes come by themselves. WCFR is a vital safety net for these women and children.
Our professional culinary team supervises volunteer cooks, plans healthy menus, and ensures safe food handling according to health department guidelines. We offer complete, well-balanced meals three times per week at the restaurant. We also provide nutritious meals to more than two dozen other nonprofit agencies through Nutrition-to-Go, our outreach meal program.
A large walk-in refrigerator, freezer and storage spaces allow us to receive fifty tons of donated food every year from large scale food banks, grocery outlets, suppliers, community gardens and local farmers. 150 volunteers help prepare and serve meals.
Over 50,000 women and their children live in poverty in Spokane County. There are still many who do not have adequate nutrition every day. There are still too many who are hungry.
After 26 years of operating in the basement of a 100 year-old church, the Restaurant needed a new home. We purchased a building with the capacity to meet our needs, which we upgraded with a commercial kitchen. Our new building has additional storage space, a larger dining room, and a classroom to teach our diners how to provide healthy meals for themselves and their families. Our new facility allows us to triple the number of individuals served by our programs. It also allows us to continue to expand our outreach meal program to include more agencies seeking healthy food for their clients. We worked with seven partner agencies when we moved in the building in 2015. Today, we have nearly 30 partners across the community. Our new building also allows us to enrich our well-known culture of respect and hospitality for all.
WCFR’s Feed Our Future Campaign established a fundraising goal of $2.1 million. We currently have $270,000 left to raise. If you would like to learn more about the campaign or our programs, schedule a tour, or receive personal assistance with your giving decisions, please contact Lisa Diffley, Executive Director at 509-324-1995 or leave a message here. If you are ready to make an investment in the campaign, please click the capital campaign pledge form.