Our History

Our History

Current Impact


Our programs serve around 540 children every month, from kindergarten to 2nd grade, through our Learn-2-Grow, Farm-2-Table, and School-2-Farm programs. Our Generation-2-Generation program is still active within Ashmore Elementary School.

In addition, we hold bi-weekly farmer's markets from June until October and donate weekly to the surrounding food pantries. In 2023, we donated around 780 lbs. of produce to our local food pantries.

Farm-2-Table Enacted


Farm-2-Table began in 2016 with two classes. Now, it serves all 1st-grade classrooms in Mattoon and Ashmore public schools.

This program provides 1st-grade students with the opportunity to follow nutritious recipes in our industrial kitchen. 

Generation-2-Generation Implemented


We began taking groups of elementary students to senior living facilities to engage in intergenerational service learning as a part of our Generation-2-Generation (G-2-G) program.

In January 2016, 80 youth participated in G-2-G. In January 2019, over 400 youth in Mattoon and 90 in Charleston participated. Our partnership with the Family Consumer Science program at MHS and staffing provided by our local YMCA allowed for this expansion of G-2-G.

Garden Impact


In 2014, we harvested 800 pounds of produce from our garden and subsequently donated it to local food banks. We also began engaging youth in our community garden work as we sought to create a Sustainable Food Center.

While working with the guests and building relational connections with one another, it became clear that value, dignity, and worth were not only desired but needed.

Community Bridges Concept Established


From 2012 to 2015, the director brought a group of university students from Chicago to Mattoon to study asset-based community development.

We began thinking about what it could look like if we were to target youth in our efforts to equip people to serve. This is how our Community Bridges programming was created.

Began a Poverty Alleviation Focus


During a sabbatical from his university teaching in 2011, the director, Bill Duey, studied poverty alleviation in the context of rural America using Mattoon, IL, as the textbook. In Mattoon, our work of equipping began with the residents of our local homeless shelter.

Day programming was developed for the guests, designed to offer developmental opportunities rather than simply providing relief. As a result of our work, the opportunity sprang forth to establish our first community garden, farming side-by-side with guests of the homeless shelter. 

Fit-2-Serve Founded


Fit-2-Serve was founded as a 501(c)(3) on September 15, 2008.

Our primary method of equipping people for works of service during the first four years was developing educational resources designed for faith-based settings, such as churches, Bible studies, small groups, and a Christian university.