The Colorado Springs-based nonprofit Springs Rescue Mission announced Aug. 30 that it has entered an agreement to house its social-enterprise catering program on the campus of First Presbyterian Church in downtown Colorado Springs.

Mission Catering moved into a commercial kitchen space at the church in early August and is now leasing the space, according to catering manager Chef Tyler Peoples.

“It’s a great partnership and there are many opportunities to grow there,” Peoples said. “It could potentially be a long-term relationship.”

The Mission Catering program began five years ago and is now a full-service catering company that serves an average of three to four events per day, according to Peoples.

“We’re pretty busy,” he said. “And we’re going to need space to keep growing.”

Peoples said that the space at First Pres is three to four times the size of the kitchen at SRM’s downtown campus and will more effectively be able to accommodate that growing demand. The partnership will also provide the three-person catering staff (as well as interns in the non-profit’s culinary training program) with access to better equipment, he said.

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“We’re grateful they are helping us meet a need, and we’re excited about this new phase in our long-term ministry partnership,” SRM President and CEO Larry Yonker said in a news release announcing the partnership. “These new facilities will allow us to continue expanding our business and providing much needed training and experience for the men in our program.”

All of the catering program’s proceeds help fund the work of the Rescue Mission, according to Peoples. He said one of his top goals is to eventually become the nonprofit’s top donor.

“We are a significant asset to the mission in all sorts of ways – not just monetarily,” he said. “We also are looking to replicate the relationship we have with First Pres with other churches or schools that have commercial kitchens … to take care of their cooking needs and to train other missions to do the same.

“When we have a good idea, we like to franchise it out to others who have real needs and real struggles; we want to help them however we can.”