KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local charity says bad accounting by a former employee could now force them to shut down.
NourishKC officials say this employee didn’t take any money for personal gain – he simply moved it around to make it look as if this soup kitchen had more money than it really did.
That caused them to overspend – and now, if they don’t get help from the community, they might have to shut their doors.
“There may have been some, I don’t want to say misappropriation of funds, but just some major budget cuts,” NourishKC kitchen manager Erin Bassett said. “That’s been rough, really.”
Every single day, the soup kitchen serves around 500 meals to those who are hungry.
A few years ago, they began expanding their programs to do more. They offered vocational training to help their clients get jobs, partnered with other charities to run food pantries, and recently opened a mobile grocery store in KCK.
But a couple months ago, leaders discovered they didn’t have the money to do all of that – and took drastic action.
They canceled all the community programs they offered and fired around two thirds of their staff. Now they are just trying to stay afloat financially so they don’t have to close their doors for good.
“I think there’s a small risk of that, but I think that’s what we’re really working towards is to maintain the kitchen, save the kitchen, and all the efforts that are able to feed the Kansas City community,” Senior director of programs Christina Esteban said.
NourishKC leaders say if the soup kitchen closed for good, it would put a huge burden on other charities to feed the 500 people they feed daily. Otherwise many might go hungry. They hope the community will step up to help them save the kitchen.
“Really it’s just been a bummer – for both all the residents in Kansas City that need our services, and our employees and staff that have worked really hard and really put a lot of their heart and soul into this mission and dream,” Bassett said.
NourishKC has set up a GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $25,000 this month so they can keep serving hot lunches. If you want to help, click or tap here.