Our Noon Meal program serves a healthy and nutritious meal every day to an average of 350 food insecure people without any cost, membership, or questions asked. Our food service runs 7 days a week from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM. We have a fully accredited, state-of-the-art kitchen that's regularly inspected and approved by the Illinois Department of Health.
The sources that contribute towards our Noon Meal program
include the Central Illinois Food Bank, local donations, some USDA supplies, and most amazingly, the gardens maintained by our dedicated volunteers and clients of The Good Samaritan Inn.
Volunteers from our community work with our staff every day to prepare and serve our noon meal. We work with over 400 volunteers each month, and they are crucial to our daily operation. We welcome help from individuals, businesses, the faith community and schools.
Job Skills Training
Field to Table Program
Our Field to Table Program offers job skills training to the unemployed and underemployed in our community. This style of training capitalizes on the growing popularity of field to table restaurants throughout the nation.
The culinary arts component of the Field to Table Program is Mercy Kitchens which focuses on kitchen skills, meal planning and nutrition, and commercial food handling standards. The culinary portion of the class is taught by our partner, Richland Community College, http://www.richland.edu/programs/ca. The urban farming section of the training is Mercy Gardens which focuses on the growth of local foods, plant nutrition, harvesting, and marketing and sales.
We offer a
work and job skills program, which is a combination of both functional skills for culinary arts and sustainable farming and soft skills such as interviewing skills, expectations of an employer, dress codes, and interpersonal skills.
Our training facility has:
A state-of-the-art commercial kitchen
Commercial refrigerator, freezer, and storage units
A spacious, well-appointed dining room
plots surrounding the Union Street facility and around the Greater Decatur area
Growing Better Together
We partner with many agencies throughout the area to create job opportunities for our students. We collaborate with health care agencies, businesses, schools, and civic organizations. Through these working relationships, we have launched the following initiatives:
5 ½ acres of food production lots
Healthier food preparation to improve the low income diet