Common Table offers daily meals to Manhattan community


MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) — Each day of the week, you’ll find volunteers with Common Table cooking up meals to serve to the community.

“We’ve been doing this for quite a long time,” Vice Chair Kathryn Focke said. “But still, people don’t realize that we’re here doing this every night.”

Riley County has the highest food insecurity rate in the state according to Kansas Health Matters. So, Common Table is doing what they can to prevent people from going hungry.

“Last year as an organization, we served more than 40,000 meals and every one of those meals is needed,” President Andrew Smith said. “So, every single time someone takes that meal, that is a service provided and that is to that person. It means the world.”

They serve meals at a handful of different locations in Manhattan. Anyone in need of a meal or even just some friendly conversation is welcome.

“We have a wide variety of people that attend the meals,” Focke said. “We have some people that just are looking for some community, want to come and eat with people and communicate and have a family feeling.”

While they aren’t able to interact with people like they used to because of the pandemic, the joy serving meals brings to both the volunteers and the people they serve remains the same.

“We wear the masks now all the time and so it’s tougher for them to see our smiles, which is hard,” said Smith. “But, we see a lot of smiles in reverse. There’s a lot of gratitude, humble people who ask for help and we’re just so excited to provide it.”

For more information about Common Table, click HERE.

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