The Syracuse Rescue Mission has expanded and renovated its kitchen. The new Clarence Jordan Food Service and Culinary Education Center will feed the homeless and offer them a way to a job.
Robert Butler is a long time Rescue Mission kitchen volunteer. He said the upgraded kitchen is going to make a big difference in preparing the up to 700 meals they serve every day.
"This is state-of-the-art kitchen. You have your hot chambers, your salamanders, your ovens, your steamers here. There are a variety of ways to cook food in here and it makes the job so much easier," said Butler.
Rescue Mission CEO Dan Sieburg said this $5.8 million project allows the Rescue Mission to meet a growing need. Historically, people waited outside the old facility for each of three daily meals.
"Now we have a big enough space so people can come in and get comfortable," Sieburg said. "Nothing pains me more than in the winter months that people are outside waiting for a meal, and it's snowing on your head."
Sieburg said it will also support a culinary education program.
"This is a total pathway from homelessness, to equipped, to ready to work and join the workforce in then food service industry," he said.
Other features of the new center include a family dining room, increased storage for food donations, and a multi-purpose room. Butler said the new facility can become a center for healing.
"A hot meal, and a hello and how you’re doing and just a little conversation can do wonders for a person’s outlook on life," he said.