In 2002, the minister of the United Church heard there was nowhere for the hungry of CR to go for a meal on the weekends. After making some inquiries, a small army of volunteers from the United & Anglican Churches, set up with tents & camp-stoves in the parking lot of the old Overwaitea Grocery Store (now Home Hardware). It was often a cold, windy & frequently wet experience, but eventually the Soup Kitchen was given some space in the Salvation Army Lighthouse Centre on Cedar Street.
From there, in 2010, the Soup Kitchen began renting space in the small Radiant Life Church on Cypress Street, where it was open for a hearty Saturday noon meal, at times feeding up to 80 people, until the Spring of 2020 when the building was shut down.
As they say, “What goes around, comes around”. We were once again outside serving the hungry of CR. With the COVID-19 pandemic, protocols had to be put in place to keep everyone safe. The Soup Kitchen and Volunteer Campbell River joined forces to provide bagged lunches to many people in the alley behind Radient Life Church. This was from May to November 2020.
In the fall of 2020, the groups preparing and serving food moved indoors to The Həm̓aʔēlas Community Kitchen where the people with food insecruities can come and eat inside every day. Our church supplies the Saturday lunches, the Baptist church serves Sunday lunches, Wednesday breakfasts are by Kwakiutl District Council (KDC) and dinners are provided every evening by different groups in the community, including Grassroots Kind Hearts. It is a blessing to have such a great place to fulfill some of the food needs for those requiring it.
We have a dedicated group of volunteers, both church & non-churchgoers, who are regularly preparing & serving lunch to approximately 50 clients every Saturday from 11:30 – 12:30.
The Saturday Soup Kitchen Program has been primarily funded by recycled bottles which are donated to us right at the church or taken directly to the Recycle Depot Island Return It, 1580-F, Willow Street (16th Ave.). **Be sure to tell the people who work there who your bottles are for. Monetary donations are also very much appreciated & we welcome new volunteers both to make the lunches, or serve, or both.
If you are interested in helping, please contact any one of the Executive listed below:
Cathy Smith – Chairperson 250-914-0850 Carol Bye – Treasurer 778-420-1570
Sharon Paish – Coordinator 250-203-0935