Final Research Review
3 / 28 / 12
The Place That Feeds a Community
When I first found out about The Kitchen, I thought of it as a unique form of food shelf for people all across Minnesota. Throughout my first five months at Gustavus, as a growing member of the St. Peter community, I never really thought of St. Peter as being an impoverished town. However, when I had a chance to sit down with the leader of The Kitchen, Heather Tollefson, it began to occur to me just how much disparity the town of St. Peter has.
Disparity, or inequality among people, is a broad term. I will address this problem by focusing on issues regarding the functioning of the The Kitchen itself, the demographics of the St. Peter community, and the meal plan at Gustavus. By discussing implications of this issue in the broader United States, I will stress the importance of bringing resources, primarily food and money, from places where it is of abundance, to places where it is needed.
The Kitchen is a nonprofit organization located at Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Peter, Minnesota. Every Monday night they provide free meals for anyone who wants to come in and get one, and they offer free transportation as well. They don’t deny anyone who comes in a free meal, nor do they look for people to be converted into Christianity. As a nonprofit organization, The Kitchen functions primarily off of donations, whether it is in the form of food or money. On an average night, they serve over 100 citizens at about $2 a meal. After factoring in extra costs, like maintenance and electricity, it costs $12,000-$15,000 a year to run The Kitchen. That is a lot to make off primarily off handouts from fellow citizens, especially considering that, as of the U.S. Census of 2010, there are only 11,196 citizens in St. Peter. (U.S. Census Bureau)
St. Peter is no starving wasteland, but through unraveling the statistics from the U.S. Census of 2010, I found out that there are a lot of...