CHEK

Volunteers prepare delicious meals for women impacted by abuse in Victoria

Victoria Women’s Transition House (VWTH) offers up to one month of safe, supportive housing for women and their children fleeing abusive relationships.

“We have 18 women and kids in our emergency shelter, and budget is a concern.  We have limited resources,” Susan Howard, development director at VWTH, said.

And so, VWTH put out the call for volunteers passionate about cooking, who would like to prepare healthy, delicious meals in the shelter’s kitchen.

Howard explains that volunteers attend a six-week training program with Diabetes Canada

“They learn about nutrition, and healthy meals, and budgeting, and then, twice a week, they cook for our residents,” Howard said.

Kim Potash has been volunteering her cooking skills since the program, known as the Senior Culinary Initiative, began in April.

“It’s really nice to cook with other women, and share our joy of cooking, and just being really helpful, and knowing that there’s a nice homecooked meal for the women when they come back from their days out and about.”

The shelter has eight bedrooms and can house up to 18 women and children, who have often left abusive homes on short notice. Sheets and towels, some clothing and food are provided.

“You know there’s something about food, and community, that is just very healing,” Howard said.

“Many of these women are on very fixed incomes, very modest incomes, and so anything we can help with in terms of their health and nutrition. We’re pleased to do that.”

And there’s always room for more volunteers.

“These would be folks that have a passion for cooking, and some time on their hands available. It’s about two hours a week – we run the program twice a week,” Howard said.

And if you can’t volunteer your time, but would like to support VWTH, Howard points out that there are other ways to help.

“We also have a need for the groceries themselves, so if there’s folks in the community who are open to donating a grocery gift card to one of our local grocery stores, that would be fantastic!”

Volunteer Gayle McDonald is so glad she signed up to offer her time cooking for the women.

“It’s just a way to give back, which is really nice. Particularly with what’s going on in the world right now, it’s nice to be able to spread a little happiness, and help other people as well,” McDonald said.

Click here if you’d like to support Victoria Women’s Transition House.

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