Happy Fall from Knead Community Cafe!

We can’t believe that fall is already upon us! We wanted to share an update with our friends and supporters as the changing of the seasons brings about excitement and new happenings here at the Cafe too. 

Counting Our Blessings
The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly challenged and uprooted life as we know it for all. When we first embarked on this journey in mid-March, we were unsure of how the Cafe operations and finances would be affected. Thanks to the ongoing goodness and compassion of friends and supporters like you, the Cafe has been exponentially blessed during this time. Your generosity has made it possible for this nonprofit, volunteer-run organization to share our blessings with those most in need in our community. Whether you’ve visited us to purchase a meal or token, made a monetary or in-kind donation, showed up to volunteer, participated in our craft fair, purchased a tribute for our recent Tea Table, or sponsored one of our weekly Grab and Go Dinners, THANK YOU! Community is in our name for a reason, and it’s because of you, our generous community of supporters, that we are able to serve our neighbors especially when vital community resources are needed now more than ever.

Ciao, Chef Carlo!

In the midst of the pandemic happening, you may have missed the news that we welcomed Chef Carlo Cimino to our team this past spring. From the start, he jumped on board and was integral in helping us to adapt the Cafe’s service in a time of uncertainty in so many ways. 

Here’s a rapid-fire interview our staff recently subjected Carlo to as part of our initiation process: 

What inspires you to wake up in the morning and what is your favorite thing about Knead Café? I'd say helping people and cooking because it’s my passion. It’s great to be back in my hometown and to be able to give back. 

What’s your personal favorite food? Steak – done rare.

Least Favorite? Haven’t met a food I wouldn’t eat or at least try! 

What made you buy Mazziotti Bakery several years ago in addition to cooking? It was important to me. I have many wonderful childhood memories of that place. I wanted the tradition of Nicola Mazziotti to continue. 

Did you always know you wanted to cook? Yes, I grew up around the stove and it was in my blood you could say. 

What is the biggest difference between working at Knead and other venues that you have cooked for? Definitely the passion of the volunteers. You just can see it in them. The joy they get serving others rather than having to be here because it’s a job. It’s remarkable.  

Dogs or Cats? DOGS! 

Wine or Beer? BEER!

Grab and Go Dinner Updates

Since Covid-19, we’ve had to change the ways in which we come to our community’s aid. In lieu of our free monthly community dinners, we quickly pivoted to provide free weekly Grab and Go dinners for our neighbors to take home to their families. Remarkably, we have been able to sustain these meals for the past 31 consecutive weeks (and counting). Over 7,100 meals have been distributed due to the generosity of our meal sponsors. Many thanks to all who have contributed in some way to this community outreach. This feat would not be possible without the generosity of so many coming together to sponsor each dinner, donate food, and volunteer their time to package and hand out the meals each week. For more information on how to sponsor a future meal, please contact Marcie at 878-302-3270. 

Spotlight Volunteer: Marilyn Lagattuta 

Affectionately known as “Mim” at the Cafe, Marilyn has been volunteering from the very start. You probably haven’t seen her all too much in the front of the house because we keep her tucked away in the kitchen area slicing, dicing, and frolicking with the lettuce in the salad station. Soon to be 88 years young at the end of this month, Mim is a role model to all of us and exemplifies what a servant’s heart should look like. She does everything centered around her faith and loves the mission of the Cafe and building of community spirit.

In these current times, I asked her what advice from her many life experiences that she had to give which she says, “To look at the blessings each person has to offer and know that there is always hope for a better tomorrow. With adversity, we can overcome anything with faith, love and kindness to each other.” Marilyn says that Knead Cafe is the community’s best kept secret and asks everyone to invite a friend to lunch just to show what a special place it is in the AK Valley. Thank you, Mim, for being one of our secret ingredients! 

Upcoming Events

Although events may look a little different these days, we are still keeping busy with lots of upcoming events that support the Cafe. Be sure to mark your calendars so that you don’t miss these important dates:

October 24 - Outdoor Fall Craft and Vendor Fair
November 1-15 - Basket Extravaganza Online Raffle
November 21 - Private Bread Making Class and Dinner with Enrico Biscotti Co.’s Larry Lagattuta (limited tickets available)

Please visit our Facebook page for event details, updates, ways to participate or volunteer.

Basket Extravaganza Online Raffle Details

Our Basket Extravaganza Raffle will be virtual this year! Due to current Covid precautions, we are unable to gather together for our annual Pasta Extravaganza Dinner.  We are excited to still host this crowd favorite raffle, a major fundraiser for the café. We hope you will participate in this event which helps to sustain cafe operations and our mission to feed all regardless of means. Thank you to the many basket sponsors and donors for your incredible support! Please share with all you know!

How it works:

Check out our website from November 1-15th

to see photos and descriptions of each of the baskets available at this year's Basket Extravaganza. It's as simple as online shopping!

1 - Select your ticket bundle in advance

2 - Place your chances on your favorite baskets

3 - Check out using our secured payment system. That's it!

Be sure to visit our Facebook page and website for more details.

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Knead Community Cafe · 1011 Barnes Street · New Kensington, Pa 15068 · USA

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