A local charity is expanding its Mobile Meals program.
The Cloverdale Community Kitchen (CCK) fills a gap that recently opened up when White Rock Meals On Wheels announced to customers that it was closing.
Matthew Campbell, director of CCK, said the increase in demand has created an increased need for volunteers and donations.
“When we learned that the White Rock Meals On Wheels program was closing, we reached out to them to discuss how we could support their customers,” Campbell said. “They had been racing for 51 years, so we knew we had to do something.”
Campbell said the White Rock food entrepreneur informed them they were raising their prices from $7.75 per meal to $14.
“They couldn’t pass the $14 fee on to their customers,” he said. “Many seniors on fixed incomes would not be able to afford the new cost. They were also struggling to find enough volunteers, so combine the two, and they made the difficult decision to close.
Campbell said he sat down with his team and they decided they couldn’t leave seniors in the White Rock-South Surrey area without a meal.
“They depend on this program,” he explained. “So we reached out to all the seniors who were receiving White Rock Meals On Wheels and let them know that we will be serving them.”
Campbell said CCK’s Mobile Meals serves 130 seniors five meals four times a week in the Cloverdale, Langley and Surrey areas. They deliver two meals on Thursdays so seniors also have a meal on Fridays. Adding White Rock’s numbers, the Cloverdale Community Kitchen will eventually serve nearly 200 customers a week.
With the increase in demand comes an increase in the need for equipment and an increase in the need for volunteers, both those who help in the kitchen to prepare meals and those who help deliver meals.
He added that they already have three drivers delivering meals in the South Surrey-White Rock area, but when they add those 60 new customers they will need more drivers.
“We’re going to need about four more drivers a night to get to White Rock,” Campbell said. “On top of that, we’re going to need more volunteers to help pack meals and help in the kitchen.”
With its own kitchen, CCK can produce meals at a much lower rate than an outside company. Seniors with CCK’s Mobile Meals program pay $6 per meal and this cost will also be extended to their new White Rock customers.
“They will get a small discount. »
Campbell said the “great volunteers” help keep costs down in the kitchen.
“We probably have around 250 people a month helping out with Mobile Meals,” he added. “We are adding 50 percent to our workload, so we will have to increase our volunteers by 50 percent.
They will begin delivering to the White Rock area the first week of November.
He added that with the increase in the number of customers comes an increase in the cost of their overhead.
“By the time you factor in the cost of wear and tear on the kitchen, all the new containers we have to buy – individual containers and transport containers – and food, the cost is way over the $6 we charge customers. So we depend on financial donations beyond the $6 that people pay.
Campbell said if people want to donate, they can visit their website or call the community kitchen. He said people can donate specifically to Mobile Meals or it can be specific to the new White Rock branch of Mobile Meals.
If anyone is considering volunteering or has questions about it, they can contact Kitchen’s Mobile Meals Manager, Mandeep Kooner.
“Mandeep is one of our secrets here,” Campbell explained. “He loves and takes care of the volunteers who come to do this. He organizes everything. When the drivers come to get the meals, he offers them free drinks, sometimes he gives them free meals, so that they have something to eat when they get home. He really spends a lot of time thinking about and caring for our volunteers.
CCK launched its Mobile Meals program two years ago when COVID hit.
“We knew a lot of older people wouldn’t be able to get out, but now we realize there were a lot of hidden needs behind the scenes. So this will be an ongoing program for us to meet the needs of seniors, and particularly as the population here and in White Rock ages.
The Cloverdale Community Kitchen can be accessed online by visiting mycck.ca. They can be contacted by phone at 778-617-3000 or by email via [email protected] The community kitchen is located at 5337 180 Street.