By Bonnie Campbell
Westboro Beach Community – you deserve a big thank you for reaching out to your most vulnerable neighbours through shared meals. On an almost monthly basis over the past five years, we held a community kitchen and shared a community meal with everyone welcome to join in.
When the pandemic hit in 2020 and gatherings were no longer permitted, we did not feel comfortable abandoning the 100 or so people who attended every month. We called participants to find out how they were doing. Many live with serious health challenges and several are food insecure. The combination of the two is very tough on overall health especially during a time when anxiety about COVID-19 19 is high. We realized that we needed to respond. In late July, 2020 we started to cook about 90 meals every two weeks that could be delivered to participants while respecting all distancing protocols. A prepared meal is a welcome treat to those trying to juggle front line work with homeschooling in small apartments.
We also deliver to the Richmond Plaza Motel on Tweedsmuir Avenue which is a homeless shelter with no cooking facilities. At Christmas, we cooked a traditional turkey meal for all participants and the Carlington Community Health Centre delivered a second one cooked by the Food for Thought Net Café. Our bakers spent two days making cookies to accompany small gifts that were delivered just before Christmas. Thanks to the generosity of the Westboro Neighbours group, we were able to deliver gift cards, presents and Christmas cards to everyone on our list.
We live in a visibly affluent neighbourhood. Often hidden are those people who are struggling to get by. We hope that this effort by our cooks at the Field House on Van Lang Private will send a message during these difficult times that we are in this together as we face the pandemic. We could not do it without Zaineb, our community developer from the Carlington Community Health Centre and our two trusty wagons that have hauled so many meals in the last few months since the pandemic shutdown started in March, 2020 and which will continue to until the end of February.
Make a difference in your community – send in your donation to the Westboro Beach Community Kitchen or Westboro Beach Community Association.
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