INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Fundraising efforts have gone on for months, but now construction is ready to begin on a 4,000 square-foot production kitchen designed to feed the city's youth.
The Patachou Foundation is installing a commercial-sized kitchen on the city's north side to expand the number of meals it can serve to students at eight Indianapolis schools. Each one is located in a known food desert in the city, where students may be experiencing homelessness, poverty or hunger.
The vacant building sits along East 42nd Street, near the intersection of Marcy Lane, near the Historic Marcy Village Apartments.
Work inside is expected to begin next week with the kitchen to open sometime this summer.
"This is a momentous day for the foundation," said Matthew Feltrop, executive director of Patachou Foundation. "We have worked really hard at building up support from the community, and the response has been tremendous."
Kitchen HQ is part of a $750,000 project. At Wednesday's ribbon cutting, the foundation announced it was starting the public portion of the fundraiser. It's still looking to raise $100,000 to fund the work.
The foundation said the need is there for the new space. It already serves 1,300 meals a week. Those meals are prepared in a shared space with Patachou Inc. restaurants. To do more work, more space is needed.
"Between the growth of the company and the growth of the service footprint of the foundation, we’re out of room," said Martha Hoover, the founder and president of Patachou Inc.
The new space will allow the foundation to make as many as seven times the number of meals it does now. Its goal is to increase meals to 1,600 a week by 2022. That's still not its maximum capacity.
Besides the new commercial kitchen, the space will also allow for more educational programming, house office space for the foundation, and there's room for a for-profit coffee shop, where the revenue generated will go back to helping the foundation's mission.
Hoover said the coffee shop was something the property owner thought would benefit neighbors in the area, and the foundation can use it as part of its workforce training program it plans to launch by the end of 2020.