Prior to the creation of the People’s Kitchen, hungry people were looking in dumpsters for survival food and sharing the food with others who were hungry, homeless, and/or unemployed. Local citizens took this concept of sharing and began serving a noon meal in Mitchell Park. By the end of 1983 there were 22 different organizations participating in serving the meal.
The People’s Kitchen formed a Board of Directors and became a non-profit organization in 1984. The board made a commitment to serve a hot noon meal prepared and served by volunteers every day of the year.
A site for serving was a constant problem, with no one wanting the clients the program served in their neighborhood. Meals were served on a rotating basis. Many properties were researched but none were found to be suitable for a permanent location.
In 1990 the Old Mission offered to have the People's Kitchen use the covered porch, on a semi -permanent basis. In 1995 the People’s Kitchen was moved to the Grange Hall. Moves have been difficult with client transportation always a concern.
In 1997 the People’s Kitchen joined other community agencies at the Prado Day Center. The city and volunteers to meet the needs of the homeless developed this center cooperatively. The new location has not changed the mission of the People’s Kitchen to continue to feed the hungry, not just the homeless.
November 20, 2018 People’s Kitchen moved to the new homeless center at 40 Prado.
For more than 20 years the People’s Kitchen has provided a noon meal to the hungry. More than 30,000 meals are served each year. The success of the People’s Kitchen has been due to the volunteer efforts of many individuals and organizations. People's Kitchen currently has more than 40 groups helping us provide a hot noon meal.
The People’s Kitchen does not receive local, state, or federal money. All meals are provided through volunteer efforts.
Serving Groups - We serve at The Prado Day Center - 44 Prado
Cental Coast Women's League
First Presbyterian Church
Friends of the Prado Day Center Board
Grace Church Mission
Jewish Community Center & Temple Ner Shalom
Latter Day Saints - SLO and Arroyo Grande
Mission College Prep
Mission View Care Center
Mt. Carmel Lutheran
Newman Catholic Center
Old Mission Church
People's Kitchen Board
Saint Benedict's Episcopal
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seaton
Saint Peter's Episcopal
Saint Stephen's Episcopal
Seventh Day Adventist
Sierra Vista Medical Center
SLO Mamas and Papas
SLO United Methodist Church
Trinity Methodist Church
United Church of Christ
Unity of San Luis Obispo