General FAQs

Wanting to learn more General information about what we do here at The Love Kitchen? We’re happy to help! Simply click the question below that most interests you and more information will appear!

Ellen and Helen were the twin sisters who opened and operated the Love Kitchen until their deaths in 2015 (at 87) and 2018 (at 89), respectively. Helen and Ellen were born in Abbeville, South Carolina, to sharecropper parents, John Liddell and the former Alice White. The sisters moved to Knoxville in 1946 when they were both 18 because their favorite aunt, Eva Icem, lived there. They received the money to relocate as a graduation gift from their parents. Ellen was locally renown as the hugger and both sisters were known to wear matching outfits and aprons!

Fun fact: Their favorite thing to eat was bacon. Volunteers still remember cooking the sisters their 5 pounds of bacon (occasionally some strawberries and animal crackers too – obviously) while they watched game shows in The Love Kitchen office.

We use Medicare’s definition of homebound: You need the help of another person or medical equipment such as crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair to leave your home, or your doctor believes that your health or illness could get worse if you leave your home.

The best way to recommend yourself or someone you know for The Love Kitchen homebound deliveries would be to email us here. You may also call our main line (865) 546-3248 and leave a message requesting meals with your phone number. Our Meal Delivery Coordinator will return your call within a day or two and explain the program and the requirements of it.

The Love Kitchen serves over 500 meals in house and delivers over 3,000 meals each week. That’s 155,000 meals a year.

Being retired nurses, Helen and Ellen understood the importance of eating well-rounded meals and The Love Kitchen carries on that tradition through both nutritious meal deliveries to the elderly, disabled, and homebound as well as serving a nourishing lunch twice a week in the dining room.

The Love Kitchen’s food is donated by local area grocery stores. Local farmers and specialty shops also bring in fresh vegetables, fruit and baked goods.

Our sponsors include: Food City, Kroger, Fresh Market, Costco, Second Harvest, University of TN Knoxville and Panera Bread.

  • Wednesday Lunch – Doors open and lunch is served at 1:30 PM
  • Thursday Lunch – Doors open and lunch is served at 1:30 PM

Want to learn more about our Wednesday Afternoon Food Pantry? Click below to be redirected to all the information on how to get involved.

Wednesday Afternoon Food Pantry Information

Volunteer FAQs

Wanting to learn more about how to volunteer and what that looks like here at The Love Kitchen? We’re happy to help! Simply click the question below that most interests you and more information will appear!

Fill out our volunteer form and / or contact our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@thelovekitchen.org to get started today.

There are many ways to serve at the Love Kitchen, including:

  • Cleaning/organizing
  • Packaging food
  • Homebound deliveries
  • Food prep/service/cooking
  • Sorting
  • We recommend comfortable clothing and close-toed shoes.
  • We provide gloves and aprons.
  • No tank tops. All shirts must have at least short sleeves.
  • Any hair longer than shoulder length must be pulled back.

Fill out and complete your volunteer form before your first visit. Then we just need you, your time and your love for the community.

Contact our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@thelovekitchen.org or fill out our volunteer form.

Unfortunately, we have to limit volunteers to the ages of 13 and up. We request all volunteers under the age of 16 be accompanied by an adult. We do have special projects especially for groups of children and teens available for weekend scheduling. Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@thelovekitchen.org for more information.

Yes but please be aware that we may ask larger “during the week” groups (over 10 people) to break up into smaller scheduling groups. This helps us ensure that we get the most of your group’s service. This keeps the kitchen from becoming too crowded and ensures everyone’s time volunteering is much more rewarding and special.

Larger groups, organizations with children younger than 13, and other volunteers who may not be able to work during the week may contact our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@thelovekitchen.org about special projects and events we hold on selected weekends.

Donation FAQs

Wanting to learn more about how to make a donation with us and what that looks like? We’re happy to help! Simply click the question below that most interests you and more information will appear!

We are an IRS designated 501(c)(3) organization which means we are an organization that qualifies for exemption from federal income tax.

Yes! All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Please consult with your CPA or other tax advisor to determine your level of eligibility for these deductions. Our IRS 501(c)(3) tax number is 62-1448193.

We are staffed solely by volunteers! YES, that means that The Love Kitchen serves over 500 meals in house and delivers over 3,000 meals each week – 155,000 meals a year – on just the time and passion of our volunteer family! Join our volunteers today by filling out our Volunteer Form here.

We operate strictly on private donations. We don’t solicit any government funds for the operational or administrative expenses at The Love Kitchen.