CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Tucked away in a tiny kitchen off Plowground Road on John’s Island, volunteers peel, slice, and sauté dozens of healthy meals each week, all to be delivered to people facing health challenges.

Amor Healing Kitchen is a nonprofit started in 2017 by Maria Kelly, a former Spanish teacher with the Charleston County School District. It was her mother’s battle with colon cancer — which she lost in 2010 — and their love of cooking that inspired her to use food as a way to heal.

“I would bring [my mom] food when she wasn’t feeling well. And I just saw how much that supported her, it was a way to connect.”

Now, Kelly brings that same support to people facing health challenges all over the Lowcountry. Every Friday, she and a group of volunteers deliver four pre-made ready to heat meals to those in need.

The menu is based on seasonal produce donated by local farmers, stores, and the Charleston Parks Conservancy.

Kelly incorporated her past life as a teacher as well, enlisting the help of students to prepare the healthy meals, while teaching them the importance of a nutritious diet.

She said the program teaches kids “that food comes from the earth, not a plastic package.” It also “gives them the skill of cooking… [a] valuable skill that they can take on through the rest of their life.”

To learn more about food delivery programs and volunteer opportunities, click here.