The Tacoma Rescue Mission is getting a brand-new kitchen with modern appliances and more space. The kitchen is expected to be closed for eight weeks.
TACOMA, Wash. — The Tacoma Rescue Mission (TRM) will close its kitchen for two months on Friday to work on a complete remodel.
In the meantime, TRM staff are exploring creative ways to make sure individuals they support will still get up to three hot meals a day.
The TRM provides about 800 meals each day to people experiencing homelessness and living on the streets in Pierce County. Staff said the most important thing is making sure those in need do not feel a disruption.
“If you take eight weeks, 800 meals a day, you are looking at over 40,000 meals that are potentially impacted,” said Myron Bernard, senior director of community engagement for TRM. “Since we can’t prepare meals [in the kitchen], we’re going to either have churches or other groups prepare meals and bring it here.”
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Bernard said some organizations and businesses in the community offered kitchen space to TRM during the remodel, but staff said they could use even more help.
“There’s continued need, so there’s opportunities to provide a meal,” said Bernard. “A lot of people, you know, restaurant owner(s), can bring a hot meal. We would absolutely love, if you’re part of the community, we would love it if you would come join us and help our neighbors who need this.”
During the first phase of the remodel, staff will move food into a new external fridge built on the campus to free up space for the new kitchen.
The current kitchen is over 20 years old. The hope is a more modern kitchen with new appliances will better serve the community seeing a growing need for food resources.
In 2019, TRM provided 304,000 meals to individuals in need. However, the need grew in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and staff provided 322,000 meals.
Bernard said the overall goal is to eventually remodel the entire campus, but the TRM is still looking for the funding to make that happen.
In the meantime, Bernard said he wants guests to know they will be taken care of.
“You’re still a person who deserves dignity, and we want people to come in, have a warm meal, experience love and find some avenue to really experience hope, as well,” said Bernard.