The Rainbow Kitchen, based out of Esquimalt United Church, is Victoria’s second largest soup kitchen, and can serve up a hot meal for less than $2.
The fundraising campaign ran from from Thursday, December 8th until Wednesday, December 14th offered customers and staff the opportunity to donate at the tills or directly to Rainbow Kitchen volunteers who were on site sharing hot apple cider and gingerbread cookies as well as information about the organization. The Root Cellar matched every donation, dollar for dollar for a total of $12,472.40 going to this amazing program — meaning that for every dollar our customers donated, a hot meal can be served to the poor and marginalized people in our community.The Rainbow kitchen provides more than 36,000 hot meals annually in a safe and supportive environment. Meals are served Monday to Friday at noon, 50 weeks a year. With only one paid staff member, The Rainbow Kitchen has been relying heavily on volunteers and the generosity of our community since it opened in 2001.
On top of the holiday fundraiser, The Root Cellar donates about 500 pounds of perishable food to The Rainbow Kitchen on a weekly basis. This ongoing program diverts produce from the discount rack and the compost bin and gives it to the people in our community who need it most.
“We are proud to work with The Rainbow Kitchen because their beliefs align with ours – good people who believe strongly in creating a sustainable food network accessible to everyone. We are honoured to help feed our community,” says The Root Cellar owner Daisy Orser.
“The Rainbow Kitchen, like many other charities, relies heavily on donations that come in this time of year. Our ongoing partnership with The Root Cellar means that we can continue to provide healthy lunches for 150 people every week day. And that’s a wonderful gift that extends far past the holiday season!” says Rainbow Kitchen board member Jennifer Hawes. www.rainbowkitchen.ca
Housed in an restored old dairy barn built in the 1940’s, The District of Saanich has approved a year-round garden market at Woodwynn Farms Theraputic Work Community to sell the fresh fruit and veggies its residents produce on their 193 acre farm (all organic and heirloom varieties).
Find fresh seasonal winter veggies like kale, turnips, cabbage, lettuce, radish, herbs and more alongside frozen whole chickens and heritage breed pork. They also offer value-added farm products like dried herbs, teas, infused vinegar, bath salts and sauerkraut.
The ribbon cutting takes place Saturday, Dec. 10 at 11am, followed by an open house in the market from noon until 3pm. The Knights of Columbus Council #1256 will be on hand serving chili and a bun for a $5 donation. There is a wreath-making workshop ($5 donation) and live music and hot apple cider.
Woodwynn Farms’ Homefulness program provides a safe place for formerly homeless and recovering residents to live, a warm bed and three meals a day in a clean and sober environment. The residents work together on the farm, bringing their various skills and assets to the table, to build a sustainable, healthy, peaceful community. Residents’ days are very structured, including time for mindfulness exercises, farm work and meals. They start each week day with a yoga session at 5:45am before breakfast and their morning meeting.
The proceeds from the farm market will go to help increase the number of residents at the therapeutic work community, which now houses only 7 residents on its nearly 200 acres.
They submitted a request to Central Saanich Mayor and Council to increase the numbers of participants being helped at Woodwynn to 40 over three years, with no rezoning, and no land lost from the Agricultural Land Reserve.
Woodwynn has operated for more than seven years without any police incidents related to resident activity, but have met resistance from the community in terms of growth of the program.
We sincerely hope the community can provide the support they need in order to provide more opportunities for healing at this truly one-of-a-kind community here on the Saanich Peninsula. It’s awe-inspiring to see our community come together in support of programs such as these. We are so grateful to be a part of this amazing community!
The farm was owned by William (Billy) Woodward, former president of Woodward’s department store and former Lieutenant Governor of BC. He purchased the land in 1941 after returning to BC from Ottawa after the Second World War. The farm takes its name from Woordward and his wife Ruth Wynn-Johnston.
Find Woodwynn Farms at 7789 West Saanich Road, two minutes north of Brentwood Bay Village. The market is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm.