Making a Difference: Kitchen brings community together

Making a Difference

STATE COLLEGE - Taproot Kitchen is bringing the community together with some help from other local businesses in Centre County.

Gemelli Bakers in State College have been in business for about a year and a half and continues to bring the community together with its baking.

"Bread represents community," Gemelli Bakers owner Tony Sapia said.

Sapia has had extra hands in the kitchen for the past few weeks to help knead bread dough and assemble pies.

"They really want to do a great job, and they want to learn," Sapia said.

The helpers are from Taproot Kitchen, a nonprofit organization that brings adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities together to cook and socialize.

"After they leave the school system, there really wasn't much for them to do, so we started this group as a way to help them find entrance into the community," Taproot Kitchen co-founder Anne Rohan said.

In an effort to get adults with disabilities out into society, food was something both Ann Rohan and Sharon Schafer discovered can easily bring people together.

"Especially local food, healthy food, food that's been prepared with a lot of love," co-founder Schafer said.

The Taproot Kitchen and FoodCentres Project focuses on increasing food access in Centre County and areis teaming up for its first community dinner, "A Night in Italy."

Many of the vegetables used in the dinner are provided by the over-plantings from local farmers.

"At the end of August, everybody has massive amounts of peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, etc.," Schafer said.

Taproot Kitchen hopes to provide a tasty dessert for the meal from the bakery.

Sapia said he loves baking and hopes to inspire others.

A dinner was held Sunday with money raised going toward improving and purchasing new appliances for TaprootKitchen.

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