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The West End Free Kitchen delivers weekly hot meals and supplies to people living on the street in the West End. The program is simple: stocked with hot food, water and personal supplies in our car trunk, we drive through the West End looking for neighbors who may be in need.
Residents want to help their West End neighbours living with out a home and don’t know where to start. This program provides a way to be of service to neighbours in need while connecting people that may not have necessarily interacted.
Often people lacking basic resources are treated as less than. Our intention is to deliver supplies and acknowledgement. Program volunteers have learned so much about the people that they meet as well as themselves. Often preconceived judgments dissolve and prejudice shifts into positve.
A common expectation is that if people are hungry they will eat anything, however we maintain that everyone has the right to personal choice. Perhaps they have an allergy or sensitivity or someone doesn’t like the food option – this is OK.
We go to them. Often a person who is living on the street has no safe space to store belongings which can make moving around to find food and get personal needs met challenging – we deliver meals to their space.
The program grows community and lasting connections. When neighbours see us come around they will grab a meal for their friend who had to step away or who will be arriving close by shortly. People look out for each other and suggest where we can find others that may want a meal or supplies.
The action of serving our neighbours has an impact. Often people watch us as we run past with a hot meal and supplies and hand them off to people sitting on the sidewalk or in a parking lot. Witnessing the West End Free kitchen in action often inspires and causes ripple effect. People frequently ask us how to help, give us cash donations on the spot or and inquire about how to get involved.
The vision is for this program to no longer be needed because everyone has a home and food. Until then the vision is to deliver food, dignity, love and support where we can.
Thanks for your support!
ps we use compostable containers and utensils.