In fall 2012, a food security meeting in the small Town of Wendell helped generate an idea to renovate the Wendell Town Hall kitchen, sitting idle and unusable next to Wendell’s Good Neighbors food pantry. Finished in summer 2015, the Wendell Community Kitchen models best practices for establishing a shared-used commercial kitchen. The fully-accessible facility was funded in part by a grant from USDA’s Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program, as well as by Town funds and fundraising, and was constructed with the help of the Franklin County Technical School.
The kitchen has had wide support from the community and is envisioned as a space where community members can process their own food or try out ideas for developing food products. The Wendell Community Kitchen is part of a larger culture of food security in Town, where the Wendell Local Food Security Project endeavors to increase the community’s food security by bolstering local production.