KC Community Kitchen

One of our core values is service; we believe we are called not simply to believe in Christ, but also to serve Christ in our parish family and in our world. What does that look like? Check out what we do - both in our backyard, and in the world:


FOR STUDENTS

  • Freedom Fire

    Twice a year on select Friday evenings, we provide a dinner, face paint, play games and have a raffle with 40-60 kids who are living in the urban core. This Outreach opportunity is available to adults, teens and children.

    If you would like to get involved in this meaningful outreach program, please contact Debby Walker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Visit the website at www.freedomfire.org


     

  • Harvesters Back-Snack Program

    Volunteers meet at 9:30 a.m. each Wednesday to fill backpacks with ‘weekend’ food for hungry students living just a few miles from the church. It doesn't take long to provide this vital service for hungry children. This Outreach opportunity is available to all participants: adults, teens, children and families.  We follow the Kansas City Public School calendar.  Please join us at Benjamin Banneker Elementary School (7050 Askew Ave, KC, MO  64132). If you would like to get involved in this outreach program, please contact Ann Rainey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Banneker Student Edible Schoolyard Garden

    In six 12’x4’ raised beds three classes of students enjoy hands-on work and responsibility, eagerly and naturally absorbing:
    • understanding of the seed to seed process, learning plant parts and horticulture
    • tending, harvesting, preparing, cooking and eating the vegetables they grow
    • expansion of palette toward healthier eating. They choose to eat anything they grow. The staff likewise discovers and savors school grown fresh harvest.

    The Edible Schoolyard garden lessons extend through every month except November, December and January.  Direct service with students occupies two hours twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons.  Maintenance of the garden, only tasks that students cannot do themselves, is done at optional times.

    Volunteers get to serve and know a hardworking capable staff and eager children, grades kindergarten through 6th grade, including several special education classes.  They are needed to help with classes by assisting students and/or maintaining the beds.  Service may be intermittent, part-time or full time..

     

  • Gordon Parks Elementary School

    Gordon Parks Elementary School, a Kansas City Missouri public charter school, currently serves over 175 kindergarten through fourth grade students. Founded in 1999 by parishioners Dorothy Curry and Sue Jarvis, Gordon Parks was named in honor of the groundbreaking African-American photographer, filmmaker, musician and author who proudly endorsed the school’s mission of educating urban core children to reach their full potential.

     
    There are many opportunities for volunteers and mentors to work with our students and have a long-term impact on their literacy, math, social skills and self-confidence.  Our classroom volunteers help students reach their academic goals by reading with small groups, reading one-on-one with our students, helping with math proficiency and writing skills. Becoming a mentor and establishing a long-term relationship with one student is also a fantastic way to impact a student’s life.
     
    Volunteers set their own hours in coordination with the teachers and our Volunteer Coordinator. For more information, please contact Sarah Dee, Director of Community Engagement 816-753-6700 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
     
    Gordon Parks is located at 3715 Wyoming Street, Kansas City, MO 64111
     
    Visit the website at www.gordonparks.org
     


FOR OUR COMMUNITY

  • Serve at the Kansas City Community Kitchen

    St. Andrew’s volunteers serve at the Kansas City Community Kitchen on the first Friday of each month as the “plating team.” The plating crew consists of five volunteers (all from St. Andrew’s). We arrive at 10:50am and leave sharply at 2:00pm.

     
    If you are interested in trying this or want more information, please e-mail Bill Hesler at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
     
    He would be happy to answer your questions and/or put you on the list to receive signup opportunities throughout the year. This is not a long term commitment; you will have an opportunity to sign up each month or you can volunteer for multiple months if so desired. We’d love to have more parishioners take part in this worthy outreach!  NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED!
  • Free Store

    Free Store is an annual St. Andrew’s outreach event that feeds and clothes more than 350 homeless and low-income people during the holiday season. KC’s homeless and working poor are invited to the event at the Cathedral on December 20, 2017 for a festive meal with music, conversation, prayer and an opportunity to shop from hundreds of donated items. To volunteer at this special holiday event, please contact Melissa Rock at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

     

  • Rose Brooks Center

    Twice a year, close to Halloween and Mother’s Day, St. Andrew's hosts a craft and cookies making party for the women and children living at Rose Brooks Center, a local domestic violence agency.

    Please contact Richard and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to participate in these special events at Rose Brooks Center.

    Visit the website at www.rosebrooks.org

  • Sister Berta’s Friendship Circle

    The mission of Sr. Berta’s Friendship Circle is to positively impact poverty in our city by establishing relationships across the growing economic divide. Activities will include experiences that can foster building trust and friendship, ranging from adventures with the children to volunteering together to preparing and sharing meals to visits over coffee, etc.

    If you are interested in joining a circle and creating lasting relationships with those in need, please contact Dorothy Curry at (816) 365-4583 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Visit the website at www.operationbreakthrough.org

  • Meals on Wheels

    Episcopal Community Services delivers lunches to elderly and disabled individuals who cannot readily leave home. St. Andrew’s parishioners may volunteer each month.  Substitute drivers are also sometimes needed. For more information, contact Deacon Bruce Bower This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Kansas City Community Gardens

    Kansas City Community Gardens is a 35 year-old non-profit organization, located in beautiful Swope Park, dedicated to increasing access to fresh, healthy foods for Kansas City’s families most vulnerable to food-insecurity. Serving over 20,000 households each year, KCCG works with community members, other service organizations, congregations, schools, and neighborhood groups to establish and maintain food gardens and orchards. KCCG provides essential gardening and nutrition education, resources, and supplies and materials for free or low-cost to children and adults in order to create a healthier, hunger-free Kansas City.

     
    Volunteer Opportunities
    Once a year St Andrew’s members meet at the Kansas City Community Gardens to fill seed packages to be sold at a discount to low-income individuals and families. This is fun volunteer opportunity for all ages.
     
    For more information, contact Carolyn Kroh at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
     
    Visit our website at www.kccg.org
     
  • Overview

    Pantry Partners, formerly known as Pak & Yak, is a monthly volunteer and social opportunity for men and women in which St. Andrews partners with St. Paul’s at 40th and Main in the midtown area. St. Andrews volunteers serve the second Wednesday of each month between 5 and 7:30 PM, and the volunteers often go to dinner at a local restaurant after serving. We provide the manpower to bag and distribute groceries, toiletries, bread, fresh produce and other items to needy people who live in midtown as well as the homeless. St. Andrew’s has been involved in this outreach for roughly five years and is currently chaired by Gwen Caranchini (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 
     
    Pantry Partners is part of our church’s Outreach Commission Ministry and our budget is used to buy toiletries and household products.  Our funding typically falls short of the program’s needs, and thankfully is supplemented by donations from parish members and donations left at the church (see the weekly bulletin for specific requests of items needed). Financial contributions are encouraged and can be made out to St. Andrews Episcopal Church with the memo line showing “Pantry”.

     
    Monthly Service

    Parishioners may sign up to receive monthly notifications of service opportunities with Bill Hesler; Bill can be contacted by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You are not required to commit to serve every month.  We need eight to ten people to fill the slots and run the program on any given night.  Just signup with Bill so we know how many are attending; St. Paul’s can provide additional people if needed. There is no training for serving at the Pantry, only a willingness to interact with those seeking our services in addition to preparing and distributing the goods we make available to our clients. 
     
    This is a rewarding outreach project in which both you, your significant other or a friend can serve those less fortunate in our community.  It is also an opportunity to get to know our fellow Episcopalians at St. Paul’s who started this project over twenty years ago.
     


FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

  • Red Door Center for Social Entrepreneurship

    “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

    When we look at society rationally, we can quickly conclude St. Andrew's can’t possibly meet the needs Jesus would see. St. Andrew's doesn’t have the skills, infrastructure or resources.  St. Andrew's has concluded that we have the skills, infrastructure and resources to help Kansas City’s social entrepreneurs. It is the social entrepreneurs in our community that give people fish, teach people to fish, and even build fishing pole factories! Within our church family are the experts that have the skills to help social entrepreneurs create true social change.

    St. Andrew’s Church has a long history of nurturing social entrepreneurs. In the 60’s, our members were figuring out how to establish other churches as Kansas City grew to the south. In the early ’90s, an organization that would eventually become Global Birthing Home Foundation and its birthing center in Torbeck, Haiti started at St. Andrew’s. Today, our members are supporting entrepreneurs as they train homeless women in livable wage jobs, and supporting a micro-finance loan program in rural Haiti.

    Our ministry is called The Red Door Center. In biblical times, a red door meant "protection." In colonial times, it meant, "welcome." In Scotland, it means the home is mortgage-free. If you would like to use your work skills in a different and fulfilling manner, contact Stephen Rock This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Stan Shaffer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You will be welcoming and nurturing the people who help make a difference - and helping their businesses mature without owing a debt.

    Learn more at http://reddoorcenter.com

  • Empowering the Parents to Empower the Child: The Grooming Project

    The Grooming Project is the pilot program of Empowering the Parents to Empower the Child (EPEC). EPEC is a 501c3 nonprofit devoted to empowering families to become self-reliant through job training, life skills and practical solutions to end their cycles of poverty. EPEC trains parents in a trade high in market demand that pays a livable wage.
     
    The pilot program teaches animal grooming, which our research reveals is in high demand in the Kansas City area. Groomers make an average of $19 an hour. It is a profession in which individuals with many of the barriers to stable employment – including past addiction, criminal records and incomplete education – can find employment. Upon completion of the grooming program, student parents will be able to work in one of the areas 200 pet salons or even start their own animal grooming business.
     
    We are proud to support this organization. To learn more about the good work being done at EPEC, please visit http://www.thegroomingproject.org or contact Natasha Kirsch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  
     

     

    EPEC UPDATE

    As many of us remember, the St. Andrew’s supportive association with Natasha Kirsch’s entrepreneurial start-up, EPEC (Empowering the Parent to Empower the Child) began in 2014.  Since the first dog grooming class started in 2016, EPEC has graduated two classes totaling 10 graduates.  The staff running this six-month dog grooming and life skills program consists of three full-time, including a Director of Grooming, one part-time, one intern and about 30 volunteers.  Cost per student for the program is $11,000, money coming from donations and grants.  As exciting and successful as all of this has been to date, there is even more excitement to report for 2017.

     
    The first piece of this new excitement is EPEC’s selection as a finalist in a competition called “One Million Cups” sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation as a sub-set of their “Zero Barriers” campaign aimed at facilitating the processes thereby enabling entrepreneurs to execute their start-up ideas in the market place.  Natasha presented EPEC to the foundation last June, and finalists were selected last October. Finalists received a $5000 grant and a two-day trip to Washington, D.C. to meet senators working to find new ways to support new entrepreneurs.
     
    Missouri Senator Roy Blunt and his staff welcomed Natasha.  Natasha has identified federal and state job training money that funnels through local job hubs. Our local hub is the Full Employment Council.  Because FEC is not allowing access for new training organizations, EPEC needed to look elsewhere for funding. Navigating these systems can be tricky, and Sen. Blunt’s office offered their DC labor staffer to assist. Natasha  also spent the week with The Kauffman Foundation learning about market gaps in entrepreneurship the foundation seeks to address. The Grooming Project is researching a Mobile Grooming Incubator that may contribute to new growth in 2018. 
     
    From the retail aspect of the EPEC business, Natasha has partnered with a similar start-up, non-profit in India from whom she will import leashes, collars and scarves for customers.  Buying these products supports impoverished Indian mothers to earn a living wage while supporting our moms in Kansas City. The Welch Foundation has donated the seed money needed for business development on this idea, and EPEC will launch an online crowd funder next month to gauge interest in these new products.
     

    Most fascinating about all of this terrific success is seeing how a relatively simple concept of helping people to learn skills qualifying them for good paying jobs leads to numerous connections in the development of a right-now, sustainable business with strong growth potential for the future. Congratulations, Natasha Kirsch, on your imaginative successes to date!  We look forward to seeing and supporting what’s next!
     

    On October 8,  St. Andrew’s hosted the most recent graduation for The Grooming Project, a social entrepreneurial start-up launched by Natasha Kirsch in 2013 with help from St. Andrew’s Red Door Center, led by parishioner Steve Rock. One of the ways we seek and serve Christ in all people and care for “the least” of Jesus brothers and sisters is by incubating social entrepreneurs, particularly those who’ve participated in the Aaron L. Levitt Social Entrepreneurship Challenge at UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management. The Grooming Project was one of our first relationships like this.
     
    The goal of The Grooming Project’s six-month training program is to teach parents living in poverty to become dog groomers, a living-wage trade in the growing $94 billion dog-grooming industry, as well as teaching essential life and parenting skills. The program has a 100 percent placement rate for its graduates thus far.
     
    Parishioner Bill Worley helped Natasha pitch her idea to the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, which agreed to lease to The Grooming Project the building attached to Spay and Neuter Kansas City for $1 a year over 10 years. The Grooming Project is now the first certified dog-grooming school in Missouri.
     
    Several St. Andrew’s members have given their time and talent to support The Grooming Project’s work, including: Steve Rock and Gerry Barker (board members); Bill Worley and Bruce Pendleton (advisory board members); Bill Fowler (architectural drawings and other planning support); Pete Vogt (photography); and Jerry and Brenda Kolb, Meg Townsend, Ann Spicer, Ann Goodrich, and Linda Keith (student coaches). Parishioners have also been generous financial supporters, as well as clients who take their dogs in for grooming!
     
    To complete the circle, Natasha has become a St. Andrew's member, serving on the Outreach Commission and speaking to various groups, such as the Order of St. Luke and the Trinity Guild. She also was instrumental in establishing KC Works Together, a consortium of community-service programs with similar goals, in association with the Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri.

     

    On Sept. 15, The Grooming Project held its annual fundraiser where more than 430 guests, including many St. Andrew’s parishioners, applauded the soon-to-be graduates and celebrated the program’s success. The event raised more than $210,000 to continue educating more parents for a career that will ensure they break the cycle of poverty for their children.
     
     
  • HaitiSt. Augustin Church in Maniche, Haiti

    St. Andrew's Church and St. Augustin Church in Maniche, Haiti began a relationship in 1988. It was at that time that St. Augustin and three other mission churches were assigned to a young, newly ordained, Haitian priest. All four missions were in remote villages in the south of Haiti. St. Augustin’s was further isolated by a broad river that separated the church from central part of the village. There was no bridge to cross the river, so goods, people, and the priest had to cross the river by donkeys who stepped on the higher rocks of the river bed. This new priest was aware that he may soon find himself in deep water.

    St. Andrew's, along with three other Episcopal parishes in greater Kansas City area, volunteered to assist this priest with partnerships of prayer, dialogue, and visits. Mission visits led to many personal relationships between parishioners here and Haiti. The four original partnerships expanded to twelve and a non-profit organization called Haitian Episcopal Learning Partnerships (H.E.L.P.) was formed to coordinate trips, communication, and projects.


    Now 25 years later, St. Andrew’s and St. Augustin continue to be close spiritual partners. Through these years, both partners have learned from one another and supported one another. St. Andrew’s has assisted with agriculture, economic development, and health projects in Maniche. But the longstanding focus and area of greatest success has been in education. St. Andrew’s has assisted with funds for construction, teacher salaries, equipment and supplies for the St. Augustin School in Maniche. The school now educates over 200 students each year in grade levels from pre-school through sixth grade. Few of these students would otherwise have an opportunity to attend school. In recent years, St. Andrew’s parishioners have made it possible to provide a hot meal for every student every school day. The health and performance improvements are noticeable.

    HaitiIn Haiti, few teachers have formal teacher education and there is no system of continuing education for teachers. So, St. Andrew’s and other H.E.L.P. partners are now engaged in developing teacher seminars for all of the H.E.L.P. schools. The teachers at St. Augustin are excited about the new skills they are learning and it is a highlight for visitors to see that the techniques taught are now being used in the classroom. Next on the agenda is establishment of a Parent Teacher Association and development of a Master Teacher Program at Maniche. So, St. Andrew’s is continuing along a path of enabling local leadership and sustainability.

    Also after 25 years, the heart of this relationship continues to be a Spiritual partnership. Father John Spicer calls it, “a walk with Jesus.” We pray for one another, we communicate with one another about issues and opportunities, and we continue the visits that were originally pledged. We invite you to take part. Opportunities for volunteers here include helping with our two fundraising efforts, the Haiti Christmas Card Sale and the Fools for Christ’s Sake Dinner.

    If you would to be part of this ministry please contact Kathy Shaffer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 913-530-7767.