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The Underground Kitchen

Giving back and helping those in need! During the initial months of COVID, the Diocese of Va., and many members of St. James’s, joined forces to get much-appreciated food to the hungry in our community. Working together, we delivered over 50,000 meals of chef-prepared soups and fresh bread. This ministry has taken a pause to raise additional funds, but we all look forward to its return.


The Underground Kitchen Community First Corporation, a non-profit organization that provides healthy, wholesome meals to those in need, particularly in food-insecure areas and to those currently adversely affected by COVID-19.

We are a partner in UGK and our church kitchen will be used by the UGK chefs. Those who would like to volunteer are invited to participate offsite. All kitchen and packaging locations are set up according to safety guidelines.

If you would like to get involved and assist with this important and far-reaching ministry, sign up here.

The UGK coordinator Michelle Lewis [email protected]

UGK Community First was created after The Underground Kitchen, a roving experiential dining company was closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. These professional chefs saw an immediate need in our community for healthy meals to be delivered to those in need and for the food industry to have access to work in a safe environment in order to support their families.

Currently, nine chefs and two bakers work throughout church kitchens to produce homemade soup and bread, and family-style pot pies, pastas, and casserole dishes to help sustain families for several days. As of the week of May 25th, UGK distributed over 10,000 meals to food-insecure communities, front line workers, first responders, and families throughout the Metro Richmond area.


Fox News Channel – ‘America’s News HQ’ Clip – Aug. 08, 2020

“Local business launches nonprofit amid coronavirus pandemic”


July 2, 2020 update email

Thank you to all of the incredible volunteers who have helped to make the home delivery program so successful! Your countless hours of service have provided more than 3200 families with over 6500 quarts of soup and more than 4000 loaves of bread since we began this program in late March.  The members of the Richmond community who rely on this service to supplement their nutritional needs, as well as the heroes we feed in gratitude for their essential services, have responded with notes and letters of thanks for helping to make this difficult time just a little easier – both with the food and with the kindness of the volunteers.

And, I would like to extend my personal thanks to everyone who has stepped up to help me when I was short on drivers, running late with packaging, putting the wrong orders in your vehicles, cleaned up leaky soup…. and the list goes on! You guys have kept me steady and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to drive this effort.

On behalf of myself and UGK Community First, I want to wish everyone a safe, happy, and healthy holiday weekend. Relax, enjoy, and celebrate.
With a grateful heart,
Jennifer Tompkins”


Here is the UGK update from 5-22-2020

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