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.
When we opened The Root Cellar in 2008 we started with 8 employees, a store half the size of what you see today, and babies strapped to our backs. We now have an amazing team of over 80 dedicated individuals, a 10,000 square foot store including a full service butcher and a deli, a bulk department, a flower bar and garden centre, as well as the Island’s largest selection of local produce – and our eldest just started university this year!
Our love for local runs deep. We are invested in keeping our dollars in the community, supporting sustainable food systems and opportunities for growth on this beautiful Island that is our home. By working with over 250 local, Island and BC suppliers, all of our buying is done with a local focus, sourcing HERE at home before taking our buying elsewhere.
Growing up The Root Cellar was always a place in our home where we knew we could find nutritious food and we are so lucky to have amazing customers who appreciate fresh, healthy goodness as much as we do!
Below are some photos from the event, please enjoy and check out The Root Cellar’s facebook page for a complete album and feel free to share!
There will be more from The Dinner Restoration Project in the coming months. We have created a VIP mailing list with the email addresses of attendees so you will be the first to hear about upcoming events. If you would like to be added to our VIP mailing list and be the first to know, please contact us at email@example.com, and we will be happy to do so.
Thanks to everyone who purchased tickets to our inaugural event for The Dinner Restoration Project. We can’t believe how quickly they sold out! Lucky for anyone who missed their chance, we’ve got our hands on TWO EXTRA TICKETS and we are having a GIVEAWAY CONTEST! We want to know what you do to make dinnertime special at your house? Email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org before Wednesday, September 7th and you might be the recipient of the very last 2 tickets for our summer harvest family-style long table dinner, celebrating all things local and good, on September 15th!
With the shared goal of rejuvenating the way we plan, shop for, cook, and enjoy our meals we invite you to join us for a long table dinner emphasizing ways to reconnect with each other, and the food we eat. Over a wholesome, thoughtfully prepared, locally focused meal, we will share our insights, experience and enthusiasm for all things seasonal, local and fresh.
On the evening of Thursday, September 15th, The Root Cellar’s garden centre will be transformed as we come together to celebrate the summer harvest. Beginning with cocktails featuring Phillips Stump Gin and canapés amongst the foliage, and followed by a 4 course long table family-style meal prepared by The London Chef with locally inspired ingredients curated by The Root Cellar, good food and good conversation will be complimented with with pairings from our friends at Covert Winery and enhanced with the lovely musical stylings of The Sweet Low Down. Come hungry and leave feeling nourished, inspired and more closely connected to our community of local growers and producers.
The Root Cellar Village Green Grocer
Adam and Daisy Orser, high school sweethearts and owners of the Root Cellar, are their own number one customers. Both growing up in farm to table homes, their vision of a ‘Root Cellar’ being the place where home grown, wholesome, and nutritious food is collected and curated is what you see when you walk into this buzzing corner market. With three sons in tow – eight, 12 and 18-yrs – the eldest of whom will work his way through UVic at the family shop, Adam and Daisy’s business wholeheartedly represents their personal ideals when emphasizing the vital role food plays in both family nutrition and value systems.
The London Chef
Since moving to Victoria from London, Dan and Micayla Hayes – who met when she attended a cooking class he taught – have been building The London Chef. A lucky pairing, Dan and Micayla are perfectly matched to run their dynamic business, which encompasses both a cooking school and catering company. Dan and Micayla love running The London Chef – both are community-minded, committed to offering the best food and service, and deeply passionate about making cooking accessible, fun and cool.
For more information email email@example.com
We hope to see you there!