A Templeton non-profit that provides healthy meals to people who are sick or low on funds is now in need itself after a fire broke out Sunday.
According to Wellness Kitchen Exec. Director Gina Grieb, the fire was caused by an electrical issue in the unit above the kitchen.
Smoke and water damage have forced out the building’s three tenants and Wellness Kitchen is not able to operate.
Theresa Amore has been a client of Wellness Kitchen for the past three years, ever since she was first diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
She said her quality of life has been dramatically improved since she improved her diet.
“Wellness Kitchen has been pretty much life or death,” Amore said.
Amore is one of about 50 or so people who rely on the Wellness Kitchen for affordable healthy meals designed to heal sick bodies.
“We’re the only ones that provide a therapeutic meal, gluten and dairy free, unrefined,” Grieb said.
Grieb said the kitchen prepared about 13,000 meals in 2017.
She knows how much the meals mean to customers, which is why she and other kitchen staff are devastated about the fire.
“At this time we’re looking for an offsite remote commercial kitchen so we can continue providing meals to the beautiful clients that are waiting,” Grieb said.
The fire has not only delayed meals for those in need, both medically and financially, but it’s also stopping the kitchen’s education programs for children.
For Amore, the closure means a loss of ready-made healthy meals and her network of support.
“I come here, everyone knows me, they welcome me, hug me, pray for me,” Amore said. “It feels like an extended family.”
Wellness Kitchen is hosting a holiday benefit in November called A Top Chef Tribute and tickets are available on the kitchen’s website.