November 15, 2018 – Why I volunteer for Community Kitchen

I have worked in restaurants for my entire career. It makes me happy to feed people, and feed people well. I am a Bloomington native and I have a passion for our community. I was very fortunate to get my first position in a full service restaurant at a locally owned Mexican restaurant. The owner was extremely involved in volunteering and the local community. Volunteering was part of the culture that she created in the restaurant. She encouraged her entire staff to volunteer at the Community Kitchen of Monroe County. She also sat on the board for CASA at that time. My 18-year-old self didn’t understand the impact that these efforts had on our community.  My experience built a foundation for social service.

When I took business classes at Ivy Tech, my professor required his class to volunteer to better understand the community. Since I had previous experience at Community Kitchen I chose to do my project and volunteer time there.

My next position was at a corporate restaurant. At the time, the corporation and the general manager were very interested in giving back on a local and national level on many different platforms. This gave me the opportunity to take on responsibility as a community outreach person. Community Kitchen was the first place for me to reach out to with this new responsibility. I was able to coordinate two employees from my restaurant to come volunteer at the Kitchen during service once a week.

My career then brought me back downtown to a local restaurant. The ownership there also participated in community outreach in many ways. This continued to peak my interest to be involved. The ownership was extremely involved in Chefs’ Challenge.

Chefs’ Challenge is the largest fundraiser Community Kitchen does every year. My restaurant encouraged the staff to attend as well as encouraged them to be active in the voting process. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!! The staff bonded over Chefs’ Challenge and the adventures that it brings year in and year out.

When I finally had the opportunity to work with Chef Seth Elgar, my Community Kitchen experience came full circle. Seth works very closely on our quarterly fundraising brunches. Volunteering at those allowed me to understand more about the different fundraisers at Community Kitchen.

Knowing that I wanted to give back to my community in some way, I decided Community Kitchen seemed like a natural place to begin. The staff and board work together whole-heartedly for the greater good of the organization. Everyone who comes to volunteer with us is extremely passionate about our mission. I am extremely proud to be a part of the Community Kitchen of Monroe County organization, and I am excited to grow as a board member.

Chantel Adcock, Board Member

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