11 East 40th Street
Kansas City MO 64111
Volunteers serve as our "restaurant" staff, including beverage station, bussers, host stand and wait staff.
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 561-8920
Fax 816- 561-4939
Mission Statement
NourishKC creates evolving opportunities for anyone to embrace dignity and develop a food-secure region. 
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Jay Lehnertz
Board Chair Rev. Gar Demo
Board Chair Company Affiliation Saint Thomas Episcopal Church
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1989
Former Names
Episcopal Social Services
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
  • Checks may be mailed to NourishKC, PO Box 412458, Kansas City, MO 64141 or donations can be made online at
  • In-kind donations of food and dining room supplies (napkins, spices, paper towels, etc.) may be delivered to the Kansas City Community Kitchen at 750 Paseo, KCMO 64106.
  • Volunteers are always needed to prepare and serve meals at the Kansas City Community Kitchen - information and an online calendar where people can pick shifts is available on the website at
  • Help spread our story and share about us on social media. You'll find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. We use #KCCK, #NourishKC, and #NotJustASoupKitchen most often.
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement NourishKC creates evolving opportunities for anyone to embrace dignity and develop a food-secure region. 
Background Statement
NourishKC, formerly ECS, was founded in 1989 as a joint project of the Episcopal Dioceses of Kansas and West Missouri to facilitate the response of the local community to people in need in greater Kansas City. NourishKC has successfully developed and implemented a variety of programs that directly address unmet needs of children, families, homeless individuals, veterans, and the elderly. The programs are coordinated by professional staff and carried out by committed volunteers drawn from local churches, corporate, community groups and individuals. NourishKC is a 501(c)(3) organization that receives local support. 
Key recent events in our development include:
  • 2005 -NourishKC assumed management responsibility for the Kansas City Community Kitchen which was previously a separate 501(c)(3);
  • 2006 -NourishKC formally dedicated the focus of the organization to hunger relief, and started the Hunger Relief Network;
  • 2007 -NourishKC reopened the Kitchen’s job training program, Culinary Cornerstones, which seeks to provide an opportunity for individuals seeking a career in food service; 
  • 2010 -NourishKC completed the move of the Kansas City Community Kitchen from 13th and Broadway to 8th and Paseo in closer proximity to those in need;
  • 2016 -- Restaurant-style service began at Kansas City Community Kitchen
  • 2019 - Board of Directors right-sized its scope, re-centered its focus on the Kansas City Community Kitchen, as a provider of healthy and nutritious food to those it serves in the Kansas City metro area
NourishKC has developed a collaborative approach to improving Kansas City's emergency food system and eliminating food insecurity.  Our staff includes 7 full time employees. We are utilizing thousands of volunteers throughout the year to implement the critical need of food access. This progress is necessitated by our advancement and allows us to sustain and grow our efforts to address food insecurity and community impact. 
Impact Statement

In 2018, we officially changed our name to NourishKC. Our new brand is a better representation of the communities we engage with and our role in building a food-secure region, providing immersive learning opportunities to promote nutritional health, preserving the dignity of those served, and providing leadership to create a long-term solution through collaboration.


· We served a record-breaking 148,887 meals out of our Kansas City Community Kitchen, including our millionth meal at 750 Paseo in April 2018. Kansas City Community Kitchen utilized 6,851 volunteer shifts which resulted in 22,271 volunteer hours worked, making our restaurant-style meal service possible.

· Through a partnership with the Department of Labor, we redeveloped our Culinary Cornerstones Training program as a 3000-hour apprenticeship certificate program, redefined our recruitment strategy and innovated a Community Care component that addressed barriers to employment such as health complications, homelessness, transportation, and childcare.

· Much of the ground work for our Food Security Warehouse Collaboration occurred in 2017; however, the cooperative effort was unable to launch in 2019. The FSWC was a unique partnership between NourishKC and more than a dozen local agencies committed to meeting the needs of low income, food insecure individuals through a comprehensive food distribution warehouse.

Needs Statement
  • Funding for continuing expansion of hunger relief programs encompassing everything from food to kitchen equipment.
  • Funding for safe food transportation, volunteer recruitment and management, and day-to-day operations to serve 400 daily lunch meals.
  • Supports to sustain an accessible community kitchen location.
  • Local businesses, civic clubs, service clubs, and other community groups to function as partners for the Kansas City Community Kitchen.
  • Additional sources of food donations (especially lean proteins) including: grocers and other retailers, community gardens, farmers markets and local growers.
Service Categories
Food Programs
Job Training
Food Banks, Food Pantries
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
Geographic Area Served Narrative NourishKC covers the entire Kansas City metro area with food pantry sites in most of the above counties and has no boundary requirements for individuals accessing a meal at the Kansas City Community Kitchen. 
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

As a leader in Kansas City’s emergency food network, NourishKC is committed to providing access to healthy food for our community’s food-insecure households.  NourishKC is best known for the Kansas City Community Kitchen (KCCK) at 750 Paseo in the heart of the urban “food desert" we fulfill our mission by:

  • Providing immediate relief from hunger with nutritious hot meal programs.
  • Maximizing resources in the community by food sourcing and rescue from local growers, supermarkets and restaurants.
  • Addressing the root causes of hunger through Culinary Cornerstones, a vocational and life-skills training program.

A core element of NourishKC's mission is to empower the disadvantaged to move beyond the barriers of poverty with dignity through nutritious food and job training. Culinary Cornerstones (CCTP), our vocational training program, focuses on the relationship between hunger relief and job training. Program activities help individuals obtain the skills needed for employment in the food service industry, leading to long term self-sufficiency. CCTP is part of the Catalyst Kitchens Network. Catalyst Kitchens is a program proven to lead people out of poverty, homelessness, and hunger through education and training in food service, consisting of more than 65 organizations across the United States. The curriculum includes working with donated products, nutrition and food safety. This program has been suspended for 2019; however, the Board of Directors and staff are working to rebuild a component of this training in 2020.

Description Our community kitchen provides a hot, nutritionally balanced lunch every Monday through Friday, even holidays. The kitchen is open to anyone who comes, primarily to be a resource for those that have low or no income so that their limited resources might be used elsewhere. Food is prepared fresh, on-site daily by staff, culinary trainees and volunteers. KCCK also prepares meals to be delivered to partner organizations. This service is meant for partner service agencies that don't have the capacity to prepare their own food. In total, the kitchen provides more than 500 meals every weekday.
Program Budget $815,750.00
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Meal Distribution
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, Homeless, Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success While the nutritional needs of the Kitchen's guests are met, they also have access to onsite social services as well as referrals to other community resources provided by our partner agency, reStart.  Guests are also able to get information about other programs, such as SNAP outreach from Harvesters and Swope Health's mobile clinic, come to our kitchen to directly engage with our guests while they are here.
Long-Term Success The working poor, homeless, elderly, and disabled have access to the resources they need to end their hunger.  Hunger is increasingly recognized as more than a "safety net" issue; it can be contributing cause to the cycle of poverty due to increased illness, absence from school and work, poor performance, increased family stress, and other factors.  Because of the focus that we place on nutritional value of the meals that we serve, we also directly impact the health of those individuals most at risk from health issues such as hypertension, diabetes and childhood obesity.
Program Success Monitored By Program staff tracks the number of guests whose nutritional needs are met each day, broken down by half hour time block and separating counts of kids and adults. We also track the number of guest surveys we complete each day and the responses to the questions that we ask (questions vary as we develop relationships and adjust programs to meet their needs).  The surveys are compiled for monthly reports and the results are included in the weekly programmatic meetings.
Examples of Program Success Each weekday, as many as 400 people receive a hot, nutritious lunch at the KCCK. Through guest surveys we've learned what guests want and changed menu offerings to include fish on a more regular basis, oven "fried" chicken, and more fresh vegetables.
Description Effective January 18, 2019, our culinary training programs have been suspended as we restructure our focus to our core mission to serving individuals and families a healthy meal at the Kansas City Community Kitchen.
Category Employment, General/Other Job Training & Employment
Population Served Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated, Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, Homeless
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success Program is currently suspended.
Long-Term Success Through this program, we create an opportunity for the hard-to-employ to have access to career training and employment. 
Program Success Monitored By

The Culinary Cornerstones Training Program was our evidence-based, immersive culinary training program which includes supportive services that addressed individual barriers to employment. It worked to permanently break the cycle of unemployment, poverty, and hunger by giving participants meaningful vocational/life skills needed for opportunities in the restaurant/food service industry. Program outcomes and individual goals were monitored by Culinary Instructor and Cornerstones Program Manager through weekly assessments, one-to-one discussions, skill-based tests, and completion of weekly modules.

Examples of Program Success

During 2018, CCTP enrolled 58 adults and 40% of those graduates were successfully employed into the food service industry. Nearly 80% of the participants achieved the ServSafe certification, which is a nationally recognized credential.

Description Collects donated food from retailers, wholesalers, restaurants, and other donors, and delivers those goods to distribution points throughout the city, including the Kansas City Community Kitchen and local pantries.
Program Budget $43,646.00
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Food Distribution
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, Homeless, Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

Increase the number of food sources and the variety of food items available to those in need. Make healthier options available to pantries and community kitchens so that consistency of nutrition and quality of food is built.  In KCCK, we now serve a green salad and a fruit item as two of our side dish options every day.

Long-Term Success To significantly increase the consistency of inventory and the nutritional value of food provided to at-risk populations by substantially improving access to fresh produce, whole grains and protein items.  To get food from the places where it is no longer needed or viable to those that need it most and to build collaborations that decrease costs of food waste while....
Program Success Monitored By

Staff provide monthly reports of donated and collected food. We report food collected in different categories, such as fresh produce, dairy and grains. It's measured in poundage coming in (to KCCK for sorting) and poundage going out to the hunger network (as opposed to being used/composted at KCCK).

Examples of Program Success

Our data prior to 2017 was estimated based on the number of boxes/cases rescued. In late 2016 we started weighing every item. Between January 1 and May 31, 2017, we have rescued just over 200,000 lbs of food for the year (valued at more than $336,000), 42% of which was fresh produce. Since the summer is our busiest food rescue season (with several community garden projects grown for us and gleaning groups going to farms), this number will increase significantly over the summer months. Thus far, about 65% has gone out to our pantries in the hunger relief network and 35% has stayed for use at KCCK. This rescued food provides about 88% of the food needed to provide meals through KCCK, allowing us to only purchase 12% of our food supply.


CEO Comments
We believe that food is a basic human right, that we can't expect people to take care of themselves, their families, work, go to school, etc. if they don't have food that nourishes their bodies. Our long term goal is to not just feed people, but to get to know them and become a steady resource for them so that we become a place of stability for them and mechanism to leverage their limited resources differently. Once we get to know them, we can help them in ways that go beyond food. If they're interested in culinary jobs, we can train them. If they're interested in getting medical care, housing, some other kind of job skills, etc. we can connect them to our partners. We believe their voices matter and are important to their growth and self-sufficiency.
Our biggest challenge, as with many nonprofits, is consistent funding throughout the year. The Board of Directors has implemented a Fundraising Plan for 2019 and is in the process of developing a plan for 2020-21. Through cultivation events, fundraisers, corporate partnerships, and foundation grants we will continue to serve the food insecure of the metro area.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Jay Lehnertz
Term Start Jan 2019

Mr. Jay Lehnertz served as President/CEO of Episcopal Social Services from 1998 to 2011. From 1993 to 1998, he was a principal with Cannon Research Group, Overland Park, Kansas. He was on the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin from 1972 to 1983. He was an adjunct faculty member at Universidad de San Marcos, Lima, Peru for 2 years. Jay received a B.A. from Dickinson College, a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a M.A. from Universidad de Madrid in Spain. He has been active in Johnson County civic affairs, serving as an Overland Park City Councilman for 18 years. He has served on numerous board: Johnson County Housing Coalition, CANBE, Interfaith Hospitality Network, Downtown Overland Park Partnership, Theatre for Young America, Johnson County Transportation Council, Johnson County Commission on Aging, United Community Services, Johnson County Foundation on Aging, National League of Cities-Transportation and Communications Steering Committee, Merriam Chamber-Business Development Council, and General Advisory Committee for Vocational Education. He also served on the board of Safehome and Saint Francis Community Services. Jay has been active in the Episcopal Church and held leadership positions at the parish and diocesan levels. He is the current acting CEO of NourishKC.

Former CEOs
Mr. John L. HornbeckJan 2011 - Sept 2014
Dr. Jay F. Lehnertz PhDMay 1998 - Dec 2010
Senior Staff
Title Chief Program Officer

Christina Esteban joined NourishKC in January 2018 as the Director of the Food Security Network and was quickly promoted to Senior Director, Programs in July 2018 before stepping into her role as Chief Program Officer in 2019. She is an experienced community and social services professional with a demonstrated history of working with civic and direct service nonprofit organizations. She holds a BA in Sociology from Rockhurst College. Prior to NourishKC, Christina worked in foundation relations for Harvesters – The Community Food Network and in workforce development at Guadalupe Centers, Inc. She has also maintained positions with Local Investment Commission (LINC), Cristo Rey Network, and the Institute for Human Development. With nearly two decades of experience serving Kansas City area nonprofits, Christina has quickly become a key leadership team member at NourishKC.

Paid Full-Time Staff 7
Paid Part-Time Staff 0
Paid Contractors 2
Volunteers 2100
Retention Rate 15%
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 4
Male 3
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Under Development
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes

NourishKC has a long-standing collaboration with the Downtown Council and reStart, which has provided over a decade of leveraging resources and healthy outcomes for a wide variety of families and individuals of Kansas City. Individuals are able to receive nutritious food in KCCK then go upstairs to meet with case managers in regards to housing or other support services. NourishKC also works closely with Harvesters and other feeding programs in the metro area. Together, these programs provide meals every day for those experiencing food insecurity in our community. NourishKC collaborates with small businesses and other public organizations to "rescue" food that would otherwise be added to waste yet are still safe items that can be utilized in meals.  For example, within one day a van driver goes to a conference center, local grocery store and community garden to pick-up various frozen, fresh and prepared meals. The KCCK chefs categorizes the usage of the items for lunch menu service two or three days a week. Two days a week the rescued items go to our local partners that serve food insecure individuals and families. 

NourishKC is also a member of the Alliance to End Hunger, Catalyst Kitchens, American Culinary Federation, Harvesters Foodbank, and is engaged in Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition. Involvement with these entities is critical to NourishKC's mission of addressing food insecurity while collaborating with other stakeholders.
Nonprofit Connect of Greater Kansas City2017
Jubilee CenterEpiscopal Church USA2007
Circle of Hope AwardHarvesters2007
Philly Awards - Best In-House & Media Relations CampaignNonprofit Connect2016
KC Workplace WellnessKC Chamber of Commerce2018
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments

 At the May 2019 Board of Directors meeting, the following resolution was passed.

Whereas NourishKC, having faced serious operational and financial headwinds at the start of the year that clouded the outlook for its future viability, and in recent months having (a) right-sized its scope, (b) re-centered its focus on the Kansas City Community Kitchen (with re-establishment of the Culinary Cornerstones Training Program expected as a future initiative), and (c) obtained year-to-date funding commitments exceeding $266,031, the Board of Directors hereby expresses confidence that NourishKC, as a provider of healthy and nutritious food to those it serves in the Kansas City metro area, is successfully repositioned to fulfill its mission on a going-forward basis.
Board Chair
Board Chair Rev. Gar Demo
Company Affiliation Saint Thomas Episcopal Church
Term Jan 2017 to Jan 2020
Board Members
Rev Jim CumminsDeacon of Episcopal Church
Ms. Terri CurranHallmark Cards (former)
Rev. Gar DemoSaint Thomas Episcopal Church
Mr. Andrew EhrlichHostess
Mr. Mark GalusGalus Legal LLC
Ms. Lindsay HarmonCommunity Volunteer
Ms. Julia HiggersonCatalent Pharma Solution
Ms. Nancy LaPortaBlack & Veatch
Mr. Geoff ParkerRetired, George K. Baum & Company
Ms. Joselyn Pfliegier
Ms. Jennifer RuleCommunity Volunteer
Ms. Julie Stoetzer
Mr. Pierre YancyThinkTank Solutions
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 11
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 94%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 10
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
CEO Comments
Board of Directors Note:
NourishKC undertook many exciting potential projects in 2018. Including changing our name from Episcopal Community Services and seeking to address systemic hunger issues in the Greater Kansas city metro. As with any great ideas - taking them into fruition is difficult and risky. While we had many successes in 2018 and reached our 1,000,000th meal served at the Kansas City Community Kitchen, the board also found that we had overreached our capacity as an organization. This resulted in a quick reassessment of our work and a refocus on our core services through the Kansas City Community Kitchen.
During our reorganization beginning in late December, CEO Beau Heyen offered his resignation and several other programs and positions were eliminated. We are grateful to all of the staff, VISTA personnel, and 2018 board members for helping to lift our organization to new levels. We wish them all well.
As we look forward to 2019 we begin the process of revisiting and retooling NourishKC for the future. The support of many - through donations and volunteering - is what sustains us. Please take a closer look at our many programs in this year's Annual Report.
Thank you,
Gar Demo 
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $650,000
Projected Expenses $650,000
Spending Policy N/A
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2017, 2016, 2015: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$19,684$0$2,326
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$0$0($348)
Membership Dues$23,481$4,661$0
Special Events$28,855$61,171$0
Revenue In-Kind$1,161,753$751,672$76,800
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$1,773,954$1,151,224$421,561
Administration Expense$186,662$220,948$201,058
Fundraising Expense$110,415$63,698$2,120
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.921.050.99
Program Expense/Total Expenses86%80%67%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$326,394$200,127$66,006
Current Assets$301,072$196,166$60,061
Long-Term Liabilities$75,000$75,000$75,000
Current Liabilities$112,587$31,619$46,526
Total Net Assets$138,807$93,508($55,520)
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities2.676.201.29
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets23%37%114%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Anonymous $152,500Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City $173,211
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Anonymous $50,000Oppenstein Brothers Foundation $17,500
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Anonymous $37,497Linscomb Foundation $15,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments

Through large shifts in leadership during the past few years, Episcopal Community Services/NourishKC has seen a lot of transitions. During 2018, NourishKC had a high turnover rate of 5 employees managing components of the Finance Department. |As part of the transition plan the Board of Directors and staff implemented new practices and policies for 2019:

1. All payments are approved by at least one Board member and interim CEO.
2. All contracts must be reviewed and presented by the Executive Committee, then approved by the Board of Directors.
3. Payroll is outsourced, verified by Kitchen Manager and Director of Operations.
4. Board President is Key Signature with Executive Committee member review.
5. Monthly Executive Committee and Board of Directors meeting include detailed operations, budget, and fundraising reports.
6. SupportKC was hired in April 2019 to assist in allocation research and accounting oversight.
The Board of Directors will continue to build a strategic direction for NourishKC with thoughtful measurements and oversight processes.
Other Documents
Annual Report2018View
NEWS: Upworthy 2016-03-022016View
NEWS: Huffington Post 2016-03-032016View
NEWS: Kansas City Star 2016-02-062016View
Organization Name NourishKC
Address 11 East 40th Street
Kansas City, MO 64111
Primary Phone (816) 561-8920
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Jay Lehnertz
Board Chair Rev. Gar Demo
Board Chair Company Affiliation Saint Thomas Episcopal Church
Year of Incorporation 1989
Former Names
Episcopal Social Services