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”, so we were once again outside serving the hungry of CR.
In the fall of 2020, we moved indoors to The Həm̓aʔēlas Community Kitchen where the people with food insecruities can come and eat 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 day by different groups in the community. 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, church & non-churchgoers, who are regularly preparing & serving a bagged cold lunch (because of Covid-19) to approximately 50 clients, downtown each Saturday from 11:30 – 12:30. We remain hopeful that an inside location will be found for us to use, before too long, so we can go back to cooking & serving hot meals & there is a place inside for people to sit & eat.
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