After months of planning, preparations, fund-raising, and hard determined efforts, the kitchen was completed on December 2013. Fully paid for; ready to roll.
The story started when Pacific Community Church provided space for three community meals to happen weekly--Monday nights, Wednesday nights and Thursday noon. We partnered with others to make this happen. A combined team led by Pacific oversaw the Monday night meals. Cloverdale Christian Fellowship handled the Wednesday night meals and the Korean Presbyterian Church took charge of the Thursday lunches. Since launching in September 2011, over 10,000 meals are served annually.
The project began when the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce (Bill Reed) and the local RCMP branch (Staff SergeantSeargeant Shirley Steel at the time) approached Pacific and asked if Pacific could help. The request arose because Cloverdale Christian Fellowship, who used to provide meals in their old location at the Safeway Mall, had to discontinue their efforts. The Safeway mall that they were renting was demolished for future development in 2010. The need for meals was still present. In its place, efforts continued with meals provided by the Korean community. For nearly a year, the Korean community braved the weather and provided meals in downtown Cloverdale using a makeshift tent that they set up weekly.
Pacific had a place. Discussions ensued. Pacific decided to partner with the Korean Presbyterian Community and Cloverdale Christian Fellowship to continue meals in Cloverdale.
However, Pacific's facilities were not adequate for food preparation. Our kitchen did not provide sufficient and safe cooking facilities. Food had to be cooked elsewhere and transported to our facility. Significant, if not serious vulnerabilities existed in terms of food safety and efficiency's.
The growth of this ministry has impressed upon us the need to address our kitchen facility and the value of establishing a community kitchen that can help Cloverdale address growing needs in our community--the homeless and growing needs among seniors. Moreover, our own ministry developments at Pacific compelled us to to talk about an enhanced kitchen that could address the various meals we need to organize.
In 2013, we were awarded a Surrey Homelessness and Housing grant to establish a Cloverdale Community Kitchen. It is our hope that in developing a suitable commercial kitchen we can open up our space to partner more effectively with other local organizations to address broader community needs. The Cloverdale Community Kitchen can become a networking hub that allows those most vulnerable to connect with community resources and people in order to live life more fully.
Renovations began September 1 and the work was completed in December. Alan Cadwell, our project manager, was heroic in all his efforts. It was a $400,000 project that entailed all the complications of a fully functional commercial kitchen. So many people contributed to make it all happen. We are excited about all the possibilities the kitchen provides.
We hope you can become part of the story too. The development of the kitchen will require volunteers and resources to make the kitchen happen. Although Pacific Community Church hosts the kitchen and oversees the activities of the kitchen, it is beyond us to make it all happen. With the kitchen fully paid for, the ongoing demand to keep it operational and well led will be the task of the future. We see exciting opportunities that go beyond being a soup kitchen to being a space of learning, working and helping each other.
If you would like to make a donation towards the ongoing operations of the Cloverdale Community Kitchen, you can make a donation using Paypal which accepts credit card payments.