The Ladner Community Kitchen is thriving after two years and getting ready this week to host a holiday community meal.
In keeping with the spirit of the season, the group is holding a special holiday supper this Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Ladner Christian Fellowship.
Seeing a need in the community, Ladner resident Jini Aroon started the community kitchen in December 2009. Aroon, who also offers private cooking classes through Jini's Ethnic Gourmet, said she decided she wanted to "be of service to both the homeless living in the community as well as lowincome families and seniors living alone..."
What started out as a monthly offering of a hot meal for people using the local food bank is now a weekly occurrence.
"Every week we see people facing economic hardships due to job losses, various disabilities, and even a few homeless individuals," Aroon said.
Every Wednesday morning, a team of volunteers serves soup or sandwiches to food bank users.
"It operates on donations received by our local Ladner/Tsawwassen communities, and we are very grateful for their generosity," Aroon said, adding that in the summer she and her team of volunteers received donations of fresh produce from local community gardens.
"The community kitchen is run on a very cost-effective basis, and there is absolutely no waste," Aroon said. "The weekly operating cost is no more than $50 to make soup or sandwiches for about 75 people, and we make every attempt to provide a healthy meal."
A new program launched in conjunction with the Ladner Save-On-Foods is aimed at making a donation to the food bank and community kitchen even easier.
Ladner Save-On-Foods customers can donate their Save-On Rewards points to the Delta Food Bank and Ladner Community Kitchen. Volunteers will be at the store on Dec. 4 and 16 from noon to 4 p.m. to answer any questions about the new program.
Aroon said the community kitchen also accepts donations of grocery store gift cards.
For more information, to make a donation or to volunteer, contact Aroon at 604-940-9355 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
To attend the supper, register by calling the food bank at 604-946-1967.