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[su_column size=”3/4″ center=”no” class=””]2021 Volunteer of the Year Award Finalist
Knead Community Café
Knead Community Café is dedicated to alleviating food insecurity and promoting a healthy community in New Kensington by offering a “pay-what-you-can” system. The café even allows guests to exchange volunteerism for a meal, creating a supportive dining climate where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Knead Community Café is located in an economically distressed area of New Kensington where some of the surrounding neighborhoods are among the poorest in the state. Knead Community Café believes everyone is entitled to eat a delicious and nutritious meal regardless of financial means.
Years ago, Kevin Bode and his wife sold their family home on 16 acres outside of New Kensington and bought an old house in town with a vision to create a community café that served their hungry neighbors. They cofounded the Knead Community Café in 2016, and in just five years the organization has served countless meals, helped people secure jobs and housing, and has served as an economic spark in a downtown area that has not seen development for decades. After the town’s only grocery store closed last year, Knead Community Café is the only food option for many residents living in public housing. Thanks to Kevin’s leadership and fundraising acumen, the café was able to remain open during the COVID pandemic, feeding hungry neighbors when the demand for free meals increased by 300%.