Life's Kitchen still 'serving second chances' while new location is renovating

Posted at 4:23 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 09:22:28-05

BOISE — After 17 years, Life’s Kitchen left its downtown location due to its deterioration, but a new and improved facility is right around the corner for the non-profit.

For the time being, the organization has been sharing part of The Salvation Army’s location on Emerald St. in Boise.

“We cannot thank [The Salvation Army] enough for their hospitality and giving us their kitchen for short term and allowing us to continue with our program and community meals. So, the partnership has been wonderful,” Life’s Kitchen Executive Director Tammy Johnson said.

The new building should be entirely renovated by late April. Staff and trainees have been adjusting to the transition.

“The team has buckled down. They are organized, and they are making the very best of it. We have 11 trainees in the program, which is awesome, so we are still able to serve our youth and the community,” Johnson said.

While Life’s Kitchen waits for its new location to be renovated, the organization is still “serving second chances.”

“It means so much to us, the staff, and the board to be able to continue what we do and still be able to look forward to what we are going to have in a couple of months, but know in the in-between time we can continue serving,” Johnson said.

The Salvation Army’s Boise location gives Life’s Kitchen a kitchen and a multipurpose room to continue to teach and give out community meals.

“Truly, we are putting the term multipurpose room to use. It is production overflow, classroom time, life skills time, GED, and staff meetings. That room is doing just about everything right now,” Johnson said.

The new spot is the old Marie Callender's on Fairview Ave. It will not only have a kitchen but a cafe, banquet room and more.

“We’re going to give it second chances just like we do our youth, and we’re pretty excited about that," Johnson said.

The old spot on capitol was only about 5,800 sq ft. Now Life’s Kitchen is upgrading to almost 10,000 sq ft, allowing them to expand their program.

“At our new facility, we’re going to be able to serve up to 25 students at one time, so the increase on our mission is going to be phenomenal,” Johnson said.“I know we have all gone through some challenging times throughout the last year. Still, I think that we’ve all grown in great ways, and to be able to have the support of the community still and be able to serve our youth and provide what we do, the community meals have meant so much to us to continue our mission in all ways. So we want to thank everybody.”

Since they can expand their program, they also are increasing the age range from 16 to 20-year-olds to 16 to 24-year-olds.