DEWC opens a new kitchen to meet the growing needs of the DTES community

May 5, 2023

New production kitchen is now up and running!

During the pandemic, to respond to the growing needs of the Downtown Eastside community, we opened two more shelters and one drop-in centre. We also dramatically increased our meals production, going from 600 to over 1000 meals every day. An additional professional kitchen space was very much needed.

Between 302 Columbia drop-in centre and 412 E Cordova emergency shelter, the kitchen staff have been supplying the 3 new sites with multiple meals every day, as these sites do not have full kitchens available and therefore lack the capacity to make healthy and nutritious meals. The Kitchen Service Program Manager, Rocio and the rest of the kitchen team are very happy to have the production kitchen up and running. 

It’s fundamental in our capacity to provide quality food to our locations that don’t have a proper kitchen on site. The kitchen staff have been doing an amazing job at producing way more food than their locations are meant to (you can only fit so many trays in an oven) but it was time for us to upsize.”

Rocio, kitchen service program manager

How can you help?

Our kitchens are open for donations! The main battle across all our sites is always storage (there is never enough room for all the things we could take). When we do have space, we love receiving ingredients like vegetables, fruits and pantry items. These are always a favorite since we can incorporate them easily into the meals and gives us a chance to play around with recipes and ingredients (a case of apples is always an excellent excuse to bake some dessert). We also take food that is ready to serve such as bread and proteins. We do not accept expired food or food that has been tampered with (open, half eaten, etc) since we take our food safety very seriously.