How Cloverdale’s Community Kitchen Has Made A Difference During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Their Mobile Meals program is here to stay.
Eight years ago when the Cloverdale Community Kitchen opened up, they were filling a void in the community.
Now, in the wake of COVID-19, they’ve once again adapted to feed the hungry in Cloverdale, many of whom have been unable to leave their houses because of COVID-19.
After the onset of the pandemic, the Cloverdale Community Kitchen had to shut down its service. After receiving funds from the Surrey Community Relief Fund, they quickly adapted by introducing their Mobile Meals program, which is now serving hundreds of meals every week to those who need it.
“In that two-week period after the pandemic, we heard how severe it was for seniors that now couldn’t get out to restaurants and couldn’t get to grocery stores. Then, our focus shifted to start serving seniors that could not get out of their houses to get food.
“Seniors would call up and say we can’t come down for meals, we can’t take the bus, how are you going to help us?”
Campbell and the team at Cloverdale Community Kitchen had to act fast, knowing that they needed another strategy to help seniors and others who couldn’t access food with ease.
That’s when the Mobile Meals program was born.
“They Had No One Else”
Campbell shared a couple of stories with SurreyCares, which really highlights the impact of this program.
“There is one couple we deliver to, a senior husband and wife couple living in Cloverdale. They had a daughter who lived in North Vancouver, but she had to quarantine early on and couldn’t visit her parents. Aside from that, they had no one else.
“One neighbour knocked on the door to check-in, and the lady just started balling her eyes out at the door. The neighbour called me up and we started delivering to them through our Mobile Meals program. We started helping them with a few deliveries a week and they were so happy.
“If that neighbour didn’t come to the house though, they wouldn’t have had proper meals to eat.”
Across British Columbia, seniors have arguably been hit hardest by the coronavirus. That’s proven by the fact that over 90% of the deaths have occurred in British Columbians above the age of 60. Aside from that, it’s seniors with mobility issues who have been impacted the most by quarantine restrictions.
“One of our recipients was a lady who broke her hip. She couldn’t get around, she couldn’t get out and she couldn’t get food. She was starting to not want to eat because of pain. However, once she got her food from us, she told us that she enjoyed eating again because she didn’t have to cook.”
“For our seniors, it was truly a fortunate situation because they knew they had meals every week. They didn’t have to leave their house to get food because they knew we were coming.”
The Mobile Meals program “Is Here to Stay”
It took a little bit of time for Campbell and the team at Cloverdale Community Church to get into the groove with their Mobile Meals program. Most of those issues came from a lack of capacity to complete deliveries.
“At first, there were six of us trying to deliver 10 meals a night each. That takes up a lot of time when you’re preparing the meals and driving around to a lot of these different locations as well.”
However, the number of volunteer drivers who have helped the Cloverdale Community Kitchen has increased. That’s been extremely beneficial as the kitchen now delivers almost 100 meals per night, five nights a week.
“It was thanks to SurreyCares that we were able to get this program running,” Campbell said. “These funds gave us the capacity to service seniors in our community who needed food.
“Now that the ball is rolling, our Mobile Meals program is here to stay. Even as B.C. starts to open up, we’ve seen that there’s a big need for this in our community. We even get calls from people in other municipalities such as Port Moody and Maple Ridge who want this service, because it’s harder to find outside of Surrey.”
The Cloverdale Community Kitchen is now servicing Surrey, Langley, White Rock and North Delta. If you know someone who could use their services, or if you’d like to help out, visit their website at https://www.mycck.ca/