Our kitchen service is a crucial service at the Drop-In Centre and Emergency Night Shelter and is fundamental in helping staff build trusting relationships with women.
The Kitchen Program objective is to meet the vital needs of women and their children, by serving well-balanced nutritious meals with significant vegetable and protein portions to sustain the health of women living in extreme poverty. Our meals are the impetus for women entering the Centre, allowing us to provide nourishment in a welcoming environment, combat malnutrition and social isolation, and build trust. We respond to various health needs and conditions with our meals provision, including diabetes, hepatitis C and HIV. Balanced nutrition allows women to concentrate and stabilize their overall health and to focus on other critical issues such as housing, employment and family.
We pride ourselves on the meals we serve, as well as our creative and tireless kitchen staff. Our meals at DEWC, including special holiday celebrations for Christmas, Chinese New Year, and National Aboriginal Day, are formative in fostering an inclusive environment and indicative of DEWC as a whole: a diverse group of women sharing food and company together.
DEWC serves up to 500 hot, nutritious meals every day.
We are now experiencing unprecedented challenges with the increasing growth in homelessness, addiction, and violence for women who live in extreme poverty and the deficit of services and support specific to women’s needs. Many of our programs including our food service operate on a funding shortfall, which means if funds are not sufficiently raised, cuts could occur, directly impacting women who rely on these services. Currently we are in the process of raising funds for a walk-in freezer, which would allow us to store an increased amount of food donations and expand our meal capacity. As we seek to meet pressing needs, we are bolstered by the vibrant personalities and resilience of the women we serve.