Eugene Oregon Mother's Kitchen

Mother’s Kitchen Eugene was formed in 2003, when we started serving lunch at a homeless day center in Eugene, Oregon called The Service Center run by The Saint Vincent de Paul Society.  At that facility, unhoused folks could come and take a shower, do their laundry, and get their mail.  We cooked and served kitcheree and lemonade for lunch on Saturday twice a month to about thirty people.  Everyone was very grateful to get a tasty hot meal. 

It was a great joy to us to be of service and a huge heart-opening experience.  We realized that the act of serving food to the homeless was as much for our own benefit as it was for the people we were helping.  We could see the wisdom in Mother’s advice to us to feed the homeless.

Mother's Kitchen Eugene, in action

We silently chant our mantra as we prepare the food and as we serve it.  And we pray for the well-being of all the people we serve.

This seva at The Service Center lasted for a few years, but then the facility opened a food pantry and started serving their own food, so Mother’s Kitchen Eugene then moved on to serving at The Dining Room

The Dining Room is run by Food for Lane County, our local food bank, and it is the primary source of free food in town, serving Monday through Thursday.  The facility is a former restaurant.  Guests are seated in the booths and food is brought to their tables.  They try to create a pleasant and friendly atmosphere.

When we started volunteering there, they were serving about 150 hot meals a day.  Now they serve up to 300 meals a day.  The food is day-old prepared food that is rescued from hospitals, university dormitory cafeterias, and delicatessens.  The Dining Room staff also cook vegetables that come from the food bank’s gardens.

When The Dining Room changed from serving dinner to serving lunch on weekdays, only a couple of our Amma sevites were able to continue volunteering.  And when those folks moved away, Eugene Mother’s Kitchen found new opportunities to help feed the homeless.

Now we are cooking and serving lunch at Community Supported Shelters (CSS).  This non-profit provides temporary emergency shelter to around fifty homeless people every night.  CSS has three camps with tent platforms or Conestoga Huts (both pictured above).  Each camp has a kitchen, common area, and Porta-Potties.  They use solar power to recharge their phones and DVD players. 

It is estimated that Eugene has 3000 - 5000 unhoused people, many are camping in tents along the river.  Having food and a safe place to sleep and store their things allows them the stability to take the next step to improve their lives.  Another secret ingredient to the success of these camps is the feeling of love and community, where campers help each other.

Mother’s Kitchen is now cooking and serving food for twenty-five people at CSS’s monthly work parties when the campers come together to volunteer for community service – often maintaining the City Parks.  These folks who are transitioning out of homelessness are very happy to give back to the community.  And we are very happy to meet them and serve them food.  We cook the kind of food they enjoy eating, such as lasagna, burritos, or chili and we prepare vegan options, too. Mother’s Kitchen continues to be a source of great joy and satisfaction in our lives.

Our Beginning...
In 1996, people inspired by Amma's teachings about serving the poor asked her if they should find a place with a real need and try to help. When Amma said yes, they found a small soup kitchen in west Oakland serving free meals every weekday while operating on a shoestring budget. Mother’s Kitchen began serving hot meals there twice a month, soon adding bagged lunches too.  Very soon, Mother's Kitchens began popping up all over the map, first in Dallas and Seattle, then Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, and we are now at 50 plus in the United States, Canada and Central America, serving over 150,000 meals annually. Our bi-monthly Newsletter will highlight the wide variety of Mother's Kitchens across the country.

Join us to make a difference. Check the Mother's Kitchen closest to you here >>.

Serving the Hungry . Helping the Homeless . Spreading Amma's Love .

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