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Expanded kitchen at Syracuse Rescue Mission will provide more meals, allow homeless a path to work

Ellen Abbott
A recently expanded kitchen at the Syracuse Rescue Mission will provide more meals for the homeless

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.

Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO News
A recently expanded kitchen at the Syracuse Rescue Mission will provide more meals for the homeless

"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.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.