When participants stop by the Shelbourne Community Kitchen for their monthly shopping trip, they’re offered more than just a healthy assortment of food and supplies, they also receive a boost to their dignity.
Unlike traditional food banks, where pre-filled hampers are distributed to those in need, Shelbourne Community Kitchen throws open the doors to its pantry and allows participants to choose from a selection of canned goods, fresh produce and other necessary household items.
“I think our pantry program really champions dignity, choice and respect,” said program co-ordinator Kim Cummins.
Providing participants the ability to select their own supplies recognizes that while their situations may be similar, each individual’s needs are different. In addition to giving participants a sense of control over their lives, the self-serve pantry also reduces the labour necessary to package the supplies for participants.
The self-serve approach adopted by the Shelbourne Community Kitchen would seem to be the way of the future for supplying food and other basic necessities for those in need. However, in order to be a part of that future, the Shelbourne Community Kitchen Society must first be able to keep pace with the growing need they’re currently faced with.
And that’s where we come in. The community is asked to provide donations of canned meats (tuna, salmon, chicken, etc.), pasta and pasta sauce, canned fruits and vegetables, and canned soups and vegetables. The donations of unopened, non-perishable foods can be made until Sept 30 at the Van City location at 100-1590 Cedar Hill Cross Rd., Scotiabank at Shelbourne Plaza, 3609 Shelbourne St., and the Lutheran Church of the Cross at 3787 Cedar Hill Rd., during office hours Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
One doesn’t have to look far to see the evidence of need on the streets of Victoria, Saanich and other Capital Region communities. One way to meet that need can be found on the shelves of the Shelbourne Community Kitchen. It’s up to us to make sure those shelves never run empty.