The Kitchen Table receives grant funding from CFNIL

$25,000 award will provide new freezer

ROCHELLE — Grant money in the amount of $25,000 from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois’ Community Grants Program will go a long way for The Kitchen Table.

The grant money will be utilized for a walk-in freezer at the pay-what-you-can café. The grant was awarded by the Dr. Louis and Violet Rubin Fund of the CFNIL Community Grants Program. The Kitchen Table is thrilled to be awarded this money from the CFNIL. 

"We will use it to upgrade our current walk-in freezer, which is both inadequate in size, expensive to use and often in need of repair,” café executive director Carolyn Brown said. “We are excited to be able to have the space to save food for future use. We often receive generous donations of meat, fruit, vegetables, etc. from organizations and private citizens and knowing we’ll be able to keep them until we’re ready to use them is very exciting. This freezer will positively impact our Take ‘n Bake program that we’ve started in response to the global pandemic. We are able to freeze meals to then distribute to families who need our services beyond our regular serving times on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Our organization isn’t possible without the generous donations and support of the community and this grant is a prime example of that.”

The Kitchen Table staff and board have had to make many changes over the past year in response to limitations to serve food because of COVID-19.

“We recognize that this time in life has been very challenging for our community. The Take ‘n Bake program has helped to reduce the food insecurity for those who are in need and the award of this grant will help us continue to do just that,” Brown said. “One of our customers provided feedback for us that confirmed how we are able to support the community. The Kitchen Table is a blessing to my family and a program needed by many.”

According to Brown, that customer wrote a letter stating “The Lord sent you a calling and you have replied by leaps and bounds. Thank you for your gifts and talents of taking care of so many. God bless you and your staff.”

The Kitchen Table’s mission is to provide hot, healthy, nutritious meals to one and all regardless of ability to pay in order to help change the way people interact with their food and one another.

“We want to do our part to alleviate hunger and promote health by offering local, high quality foods on a pay what you can basis. We believe that by treating people with dignity and respect, we can help create a thriving, and economically strong community,” Brown said. The board of directors, along with our executive director Brown do this with the support of the greater Rochelle community.

The mission of the CFNIL is to serve as a catalyst for giving in order to attract, preserve, and grow an endowment for current and future needs of Northern Illinois. Since its founding in 1953 CFNIL has granted more than $73 million for charitable purposes. Learn more about CFNIL’s grantmaking and commitment to endowment at



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