Community kitchen filling empty bellies and hearts

Local News

The Windber Area Community Kitchen provides more than just hot meals.

A few times a month, the kitchen, located at Calvary United Methodist Church in Windber, is packed with people from all walks of life.

“We have young families that come through. We have older folks, single folks, married couples. It really touches every group,” said Heidi Helsel, the pastor at Calvary United Methodist Church.

The Windber Area Community Kitchen (WACK) serves more than 4,000 hot meals each year to people in need.

“There’s no income requirement, so we get all kinds of folks. It really helps to break down the barriers that can sometimes exist within communities. So, anyone can walk in,” Helsel said.

This Saturday, February 10th, the kitchen is hosting its 9th Annual Red Rose Ball at the Richland Township Fire Hall on Scalp Avenue.

The event raises about $6,000 each year for the kitchen and also serves as a way to thank the volunteers and community members who donate.

“The people who come here and volunteer, to the businesses who donate to us – we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for those donations,” said Joan Albright, Chairperson for the WACK board.

Helsel said, for many of the people who eat at the kitchen, the meals are more than just a full plate.

“One of the first times, I took a tray and sat with a woman who had just lost her husband,” said Helsel. “It was just really nice to have that conversation and sit with somebody who not only needed the food, but needed the conversation, as well.”

Tickets are still available if you’d like to attend the 9th Annual Red Rose Ball. You can find out how to purchase tickets by clicking here.

For information on the kitchen and how to volunteer or donate, click here.

You can also call: (814)-509-6551 or email:

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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