302 Columbia St. Vancouver, BC admin@dewc.ca 604-681-8480

Kitchen Program

Kitchen Program

Serving 500 meals every single day

Meals are an essential part of the basic needs provided at the Drop-In Centre and 24-hour Emergency Shelter, and are fundamental in helping staff build trusting relationships with women. 

The centre’s bustling kitchen program stresses the importance of a sense of dignity, meeting the most essential need for women in the Downtown Eastside. For many women, the meal at the centre is their only meal of the day.

The kitchen program is the backbone of the women’s centre, bringing in women to the space and connecting them to an available continuum of care and support.

Not only does the kitchen provide breakfast, hot lunches, afternoon snacks, and dinner for groups that meet after hours, it provides meals for the 24-hour emergency shelter as well. The kitchen is also where volunteers receive training, building skills for future employment.

The fight against hunger and poverty remains at the heart of The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.

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, Lunar New Year, and National Indigenous People’s 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.

Our kitchen program is one of our most crucial to nourish women of the community, and yet is also one of our most underfunded.

We are now experiencing unprecedented challenges with the increasing growth in demand for our services, including our meal program. There remains a severe deficit of services and support specific to women’s needs, especially those living in precarity and extreme poverty.

Your giving goes a long way:

$5 gives a woman a day’s access to
a hot meal, safe space, and support

$150 gives a woman a month’s
access to a daily hot meal, safe space,
and support services

$750 provides a chicken dinner for
350 women and children

$1,250 provides a holiday meal
with all the trimmings for 400 women
and children


For more information on meal sponsorship, contact: engagement@dewc.ca.