GOSHEN — A much-expanded kitchen opened at The Window Friday morning with some fanfare.
The Window staff, board members, volunteers, community members and local business representatives gathered in the dining room and recently constructed hallway to cut the ribbon on the renovated area. Ice cream was served and people got the chance to peruse the new facilities, which help serve people who are in economic need.
The Window’s Executive Director Ed Swartley said Friday was the first day the community has been served out of the kitchen since construction began. For that construction period, Faith Mission in Elkhart had been donating about 65 meals a day.
“It’s just been exciting,” Swartley said of the changes.
The kitchen is three times the size it was and the range hood was increased from 4 feet to 13 feet.
The increased kitchen size means The Window is capable of more services. Along with the 75 meals served there daily, about 40 to 50 meals are prepared for the Meals on Wheels program. In July, the kitchen will start cooking for the Council on Aging, Swartley said.
“We’re at a different level now,” he added, and he expects to keep expanding.
The dining area was also freshened up and new tables and chairs were added.
In the same back part of the building, other construction has been completed. Projects there, which thanks to donations and volunteer labor kept the total cost to between $5,000 and $6,000, including demolition and reconstruction of walls, adding a handicap-accessible shower and a new entrance (among many other renovations).