The Berkshire Dream Center located at 475 Tyler Street in Pittsfield, MA is excited to announce the Grand Opening of Berkshire County’s first restaurant-style soup kitchen, “The Bright Morningstar Kitchen” on April 1, 2022!

Ribbon cutting ceremony will be at 11:15am outside, followed by lunch being served in the dining room from 11:30-12:30pm. This is free and open to the public!

“The Bright Morningstar Kitchen” will have restaurant-style dining, where residents can come together in an inviting, comfortable atmosphere and “Dine with Dignity.” The Kitchen is located in the Morningside community that is currently known by the USDA as a food desert. This means that there is not a grocery store within close walking distance where residents can have proper access to get fresh produce or food with transportation being a barrier for so many.  This kitchen is not only the first of its kind within Berkshire County, but will also be the first meal site in the Morningside community. Not having food can significantly impact individuals, families, and communities as the focus is often on where the next meal will come from.This program strives to help fill this gap with food insecurity so residents can not only survive but begin to thrive.

Beyond being a meal site, “The Bright Morningstar Kitchen” is a dual-purpose program that will provide workforce development training and experience tailored to the regional hospitality industry, providing neighborhood residents with hands-on experience and real- life skills needed to enter the workforce.  Participants of the Workforce Development Training Program sign up for a 6-month commitment to help cultivate culinary and hospitality skills to prepare them for two tracks; to further their education at college or enter into the workforce.

In addition to providing hot meals to individuals in need of a blessing, those within their program will learn; food safety, cooking skills, portion control, teamwork, cleanliness & proper sanitation. Participants will have the unique opportunity to work with Berkshire Community College to receive their ServSafe & Allergen certificate, get help with resume building, participate in mock interviews, receive help with searching for a job, get the clothes needed to dress professionally for their first interview, visit various restaurants, attend workshops, and attend Employability & Customer Service workshops with Goodwill onsite.

The kitchen will also provide a space for residents to learn cooking and nutrition skills that encourage long-term health and wellness. It will also act as a multiple function community space, providing space for educational programming, cooking workshops, demonstrations, and food events. This will strengthen and build food security leading to a healthier and economically stronger neighborhood and community.

Meal days and times will be:

  • Tuesday Lunch: 11:30-12:30pm

  • Wednesday Dinner: 4:30-5:30pm

  • Friday Lunch: 11:30-12:30pm

This program is now looking for “2022 Donors of Meals for a Year” to help sustain and grow this new program! For more information on how you can get involved please visit their website at www.berkshiredreamcenter.org.

 

The Berkshire Dream Center wants to thank their foundational sponsors who made this program possible including;  Milltown Capital, Greylock Federal Credit Union, A.C. Wood Contracting, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Josephine & Louise Crane Foundation, Walmart, MorningsideUP, Martino Glass Company, Blueline Design and Walmart.

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