VTO Spotlight_ Martha’s KitchenOver the holidays, many of our employees chose to volunteer their time to help make our local community a better place. For Debbie McCoy, Juan Rosales, Van Nguyen and Emily Hillman; They chose to spend their VTO helping out at a local Santa Clara County soup kitchen that goes by the name of Martha’s Kitchen. Martha’s Kitchen, having adopted the motto of “Feeding the hungry with dignity with no questions asked,” is an organization that was founded in 1981 by Louise Benson in an effort to alleviate hunger problems in Northern California communities. 37 years later, Martha’s Kitchen has served over 4,500,000 million meals to people with an annual production of 450,000 meals per year. Over the years, Martha’s Kitchen has experienced enormous success at working to feed the hungry through collaboration with over 50 different nonprofits in the local area for food distribution and preparation.

Preparing Food and Distribution

IMG_1820-1Needless to say, Debbie, Juan, Van and Emily all had an amazing experience volunteering at this great organization. The day consisted of preparing food for packaging into boxes for distribution around the city of San Jose and surrounding areas. Along with the other volunteers, they worked on chopping up fruits, vegetables, meats and other goods so that they may be prepared and placed into these meal boxes. After working in the Central Kitchen where food is prepared, volunteers would then bring the food out into trucks for distribution to partner organizations, and out to hungry individuals who showed up for a meal. The food that was loaded into trucks is mostly distributed around the counties of Santa Clara, Merced, Santa Cruz and Monterrey. Some of the other non-profit partners involved in the program included the Home First Alum Rock, United Methodist Church, Elijah’s Men’s Home, Goodwill, Sacred Heart Nativity school, the Salvation Army, Santa Maria Urban Ministry and St. Joseph’s Cathedral.

In the Spirit of Giving

IMG_1818Giving back to the community is something we at ATR care deeply about, and through these efforts it is our sincere hope that we can make a charitable impact year after year. For Debbie, Van, Emily and Juan, the work they did at Martha’s Kitchen was an experience to be cherished for a long time. After volunteering, Juan felt that helping out those in need meant more to him. “It was awesome to see how volunteers at Martha’s Kitchen would come together every week to help keep people in the community fed.” Van was personally touched by the organizations work in feeding the hungry. “It was great to help out others by serving a warm meal during the holiday season. It is one of the greatest things anyone could do.”

For Emily, it was meaningful to her being able to help out the local community. “Martha’s Kitchen feeds hundreds of people per week through food and soup kitchen preparation and packaging of premade meals into boxes. It was amazing to be a part of an experience where we got to help feed local kids and adults in need.” And of course, Debbie was glad she was informed about Martha’s Kitchen and to have played a part in the effort too! “I chose to volunteer at Martha’s Kitchen after I was told about it by another employee who volunteered there in the past. It was great to be able to help feed the hungry in the local San Jose community.” All four of our wonderful employees had an overwhelmingly fulfilling experience lending a hand to those in need over this past holiday season.

IMG_1819We encourage all of our employees to use their VTO to lend a helping hand to their local communities. If you would like to donate to Martha’s Kitchen and their efforts to feed the hungry, you can do so here.


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