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Christ Kitchen helps struggling women

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Before this morning, I didn’t know much about Christ Kitchen. All I knew was that it was an organization designed to helpSpokane women who are living in poverty. I didn’t know that it was a quaint shop and small restaurant that was operated by 30 women trying to climb their way out ofimpoverishment. I was right about its mission, “to help women in poverty become employable and self/Christ sufficient.” But I didn’t know the store shelves were stocked with tasty treats, like Obedient Oatmeal Cookies, Mercy Mints, Joyous Gingersnaps, and my favorite, Exalted Espresso Beans. Director Jan Bowes Martinez, who create the program in 1998, said by giving these women a paycheck, a purpose and friendship she sees “transformations happen.” Some of the women have worked there for several years, others for only a few months. They cook, make gift baskets, package items, seal baggies, decorate packaging, cater, etc. “You see their stability grow and grow,” Martinez said. The problem? Except for nearby businesses, most of Spokane doesn’t know about Christ Kitchen. If they could make more sales, Martinez said, she could hire more women. You can help Martinez with this mission. Stop in weekdays anytime between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., or Saturdays between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The store/restaurant is located at 2410 North Monroe St. Or, you can be lazy like me and do your shopping online here. See Flickr photos of Christ Kitchen here.

Tracy Simmons

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Lecture of Strategic Communication at the University of Idaho.

She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.

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