YWCA Dignity Kitchen, Other Groups Work Long Past Ida’s Departure

Members of the YWCA Dignity Kitchen team, at top, remain ready to serve those in need

YWCA Dignity Kitchen, Other Groups Work Long Past Ida's Departure
Crews at Share Food provide logistics and delivery help

POTTSTOWN PA – Although the fierce winds and pummeling rain of September’s Tropical Storm Ida is now a somewhat distant memory for many area residents, more than 436 people remain displaced from 208 households across Montgomery County, according to the YWCA Tri-County Area. It and other community-based organizations and non-profits continue to work with county officials to meet their needs.

The YWCA’s Dignity Kitchen is preparing nearly 600 meals daily for some families living in hotels or other accommodations while their homes are repaired. The kitchen – a combination of social enterprise, workforce development program, and licensed food service provider – supplies balanced and nourishing breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that include fresh fruits and vegetables.

YWCA Dignity Kitchen, Other Groups Work Long Past Ida's Departure
YWCA Dignity Kitchen Director of Culinary Services Sara Anderson prepares part of a future meal

The effort reflects the teamwork of many groups and helpers, Sara Anderson (above), Dignity Kitchen director of culinary services, reports.

  • Anderson, her team, and volunteers work in shifts to prepare and package meals daily;
  • ACLAMO, the Upper Merion Community Cupboard, and other non-profits work to identify families in need;
  • The Share Food Program supports efforts by providing logistics and delivery; and
  • Volunteers from Citadel Credit Union, the Owen J. Roberts School District (below), and the Coventry Lions Club among others assist with packaging meals at Dignity Kitchen’s Norristown location.
YWCA Dignity Kitchen, Other Groups Work Long Past Ida's Departure
Owen J. Roberts students are among the effort’s many volunteer helpers
YWCA Dignity Kitchen, Other Groups Work Long Past Ida's Departure
Ready to help package meals for delivery are volunteers of Citadel Credit Union

“Our team (above) gets involved and is inspired by those we’ve met at Dignity Kitchen,” says Edita Bailey, dual market manager at Citadel. “Together, we’re building strength for our neighbors and community, and that makes us proud.”

County assistance has been an important factor, too. It’s “supported victims of Ida since the day the storm made landfall, and our support continues to this day,” county Board of Commissioners’ Chair Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh added. “We are extremely grateful to be working hand-in-hand with our partners to ensure our residents get the food, emergency shelter, and other support they need as they recover.”

Photos provided by the YWCA Tri-County Area