Shelbourne Community Kitchen in need of volunteers

Food program looking to secure permanent home, hosting volunteer night on March 24 to attract new helpers

With fingers crossed, the folks behind the Shelbourne Community Kitchen are optimistic they have secured a kitchen.

“We have leased a very promising location on Shelbourne Street,” said Kim Cummins, program co-ordinator.

Now they wait, as their application for a temporary use permit makes its way through the municipal machine.

“We’re very hopeful that everything will go through. People have been very positive so far.”

Shelbourne Community Kitchen officially launched in June 2013, when three churches and two community associations joined forces to establish a community kitchen where people can cook and share free meals. The kitchen acts as a central food bank for the neighbourhood.

Members from Lutheran Church of the Cross, St. Luke’s Anglican Church, St. Aidan’s United Church, Mount Tolmie Community Association and Camosun Community Association signed a memorandum of understanding to create the Shelbourne Community Kitchen.

Since June they have been working out of satellite kitchens, but have been looking for a permanent home.

Shelbourne Community Kitchen was officially incorporated as a society on March 5, 2014.

“We’re one step closer toward becoming a non-profit,” Cummins said.

In the meantime, they’re building up their volunteer base for their garden and kitchen programs.

Part of the program is a self-selecting pantry that includes Fairway Market vouchers and groceries at Lutheran Church of the Cross.

“We have almost 40 people who come and utilize the service,” Cummins said.

In the kitchen setting, groups of five or six people learn to prepare healthy food and share meals, clean up together and take portions home. Participants gain new ideas about how to prepare delicious, nutritious meals on a budget.

“We’re running satellite kitchens at this point … starting to test the waters and introducing people to what a community kitchen is,” Cummins said.

The Shelbourne Community Kitchen hosts a meeting for potential new volunteers on Monday (March 24). The meeting is from 6 to 8 p.m. at St. Luke’s Hall (3821 Cedar Hill Cross Rd.).

Visit shelbournecommunitykitchen.ca to learn more.

reporter@saanichnews.com