KANDU prides itself on our all-encompassing programs and services designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities in Rock County. Whether it’s imparting essential daily living skills to young adults in the Livin’ & Learnin’ program, offering personalized care to our aging generation through KANDU’s Adult Day Services/Memory Care program, or providing work opportunities to people with barriers to employment, KANDU provides a dependable haven for many people with disabilities and their families in Rock County, including access to nutritional meals from KANDU’s catering & rentals division.
KANDU Catering & Rentals (formerly known as Best Events) creates memorable events for businesses and families by offering exceptional catering and event rental products. The division was established more than 30 years ago to generate revenue to support KANDU programs and create jobs for clients, however, the onsite commercial kitchen opened additional opportunities. KANDU Catering offers a hot lunch option for our client workers every weekday and provides a nutritious family-style meal for our Adult Day Services/Memory Care program clients so they can enjoy a delicious lunch in the company of their peers and caring KANDU staff.
But KANDU’s catering business extends beyond the good work it does for its customers, KANDU programs, and our clients. Every day, over 250 Rock County seniors receive a nutritious meal prepared and delivered by KANDU through our collaboration with the Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) Home Delivered Meals program, commonly known as Meals on Wheels.
A nutritious, balanced diet is the foundation of good health, but preparing a healthy meal can be a challenging task for individuals for many reasons: age, mobility, access to healthy foods, financial stability, and more. Community programs bridge the nutrition gap to ensure all residents have access to healthy food.
Half of the meals prepared in the KANDU kitchen are packaged fresh into trays and then heat-packed into a delivery vehicle. Volunteers drive routes around Rock County and drop off the meals at participants’ front doors. Items like milk, bread, and dessert are cold-packed and delivered the same way.
KANDU Catering staff package and deliver the other half of the meals to communal dining areas around Rock County including The Gathering Place in Milton and Grinnell Hall in Beloit. In these instances, seniors who have transportation may choose to eat together, enjoying the benefits of social interaction in addition to a delicious meal. Menus go through a review process to ensure each meal provides adequate nutritional values like proteins and vitamins, with fat, salt, and sugar content closely monitored.
“We have to ask ourselves how we can do the most good?” said David Daniels, KANDU Catering kitchen and event manager. “When we collaborate with other community organizations, we can all bring our own talent and resources to the table and create services that are bigger than the sum of our parts. Our kitchen staff takes a lot of pride in the number of lives we touch through the food we cook.” In addition to providing meals to seniors, KANDU Catering also delivers 70 meals to Richardson School Monday through Thursday every week.
When you are contemplating catering and rental options for your next event, consider supporting KANDU Catering & Rentals, and enjoy the added benefit of knowing that you are helping many at-risk people in Rock County to receive healthy nutritious meals.