It’s another busy morning at Rainbow Kitchen in Esquimalt, as volunteers prepare lunch.
“We are a community kitchen that provides a hot lunch to between 90 and about 140 guests Monday to Friday,” Rainbow Kitchen Volunteer Coordinator Brenda O’Connor said.
And while that meal is greatly appreciated, O’Connor feels just part of the reason many visit each day.
“The community is wonderful, and the guests help as much as the volunteers. There’s no ‘us and them.’ We are all a community.” she adds.
That community includes volunteers from the Futures Club, a day program for adults with developmental difficulties.
“Our focus is on community inclusion, as well as recreation and employment, so we volunteer here once a week at least, and we do prep for lunch service, whether it’s serving food, cleaning up, cooking – which offers our guys a wide range of employment skills,” said Christy Tytgat, from the Futures Club.”We have had two get jobs from their skills that they’ve learned volunteering at Rainbow Kitchen.”
Rainbow Kitchen is also grateful to Herowork volunteers, who completed a major renovation in 2016.
“We got new floors, new windows, new cupboards, new kitchen equipment,” says O’Connor. “We’ve had lasting relationships from people who were Herowork volunteers, who are now our volunteers – so that’s wonderful too.”