KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Mobile Meals Kitchen is celebrating after expanding and upgrading its facility in Knoxville to serve more people in the community.
City and county leaders joined the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee Monday at the kitchen on Reynolds Street to unveil the expansion, which includes a new community and packing room, new equipment, two delivery vehicles and other facility upgrades.
The organization said the makeover will help it serve more people and improve food accessibility for those in need, including homebound seniors, at-risk children, people with disabilities and others in the community.
Karen Estes, director of Mobile Meals Kitchen, said the need to upgrade the 20-year-old kitchen was long overdue and highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Estes said they provided more than 3,000 meals daily and 540,000 during the pandemic, saying they had to navigate many food and storage challenges.
"The Kitchen Makeover will make it possible for us to continue to efficiently provide hot and nutritious food throughout our community,” Estes said. “The Mobile Meals Kitchen was designed as a state-of-the art community kitchen which makes it possible for the kitchen to produce large quantities of food daily. During the growing seasons, the kitchen uses fresh food grown by places like CAC’s Beardsley Farm."
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and Congressman Tim Burchett attended the unveiling.