The Cloverdale Community Kitchen received a big donation Nov. 2.
Qualico, a real estate development company, donated $10K to the Kitchen for its Mobile Meals program.
Qualico has offices in western Canada and the U.S. and bills itself as an “integrated real estate company.” Its B.C. regional head office is in Cloverdale.
“Our need has increased as we’re taking over the White Rock Meals on Wheels program,” Matthew Campbell, director of the Cloverdale Community Kitchen (CCK), explained. “And Qualico heard we were doing this and that there was a huge need to be able to make sure our Mobile Meals program could expand to cover White Rock.”
Campbell said one of Qualico’s employees, Kamal Khinda, popped in Nov. 4 and surprised Campbell with a cheque for ten grand.
“We were just blown away,” he said. “So thankful to Qualico for donating the money, but also to them for volunteering with us.”
Campbell said Qualico sends employees from its Cloverdale office down to the kitchen each Wednesday to drive meals out to seniors for the Mobile Meals program.
“It’s amazing to get this love and support from the community,” said Mandeep Kooner, CCK’s director of Mobile Meals. “We’ve been worried about finding volunteers and donors, but the community keeps stepping up.”
Kooner said the $10,000 will help with much needed kitchen upgrades, such as new ovens and other needs.
“As we are expanding and growing, our capacity must expand too,” explained Kooner. “This is a huge step towards that.”
Qualico also encourages its employees to volunteer at the Community Kitchen. On a couple of Fridays a month, employees come down for several hours to help prep food for Mobile Meals.
On Nov. 4, four employees were down at the kitchen baking cookies and other desserts. The employees said Qualico does all it can to encourage its workers to help out.
“They say, ‘Go and help the community,’ and they remove all the barriers,” said Kevin Woodman. “They’re such a good company, they cover our wages for the day, so we really have no excuses not to come down and help out.”
Siya Moallef spent the day baking hundreds of cookies. They’ll go into next week’s Mobile Meals deliveries.
“I try to come down once a month,” said Moallef. “Whatever I can fit in; we try to help out as much as we can. Everyone in the company is encouraged to help out.”
Employees Wayne Hudak and Schvaun Fryer were also on site cooking and prepping food.
Campbell added the Mobile Meals program still depends on donations to survive. He said they charge seniors $6 a meal, but with overhead, their cost is closer to $14.
“Every time we deliver a meal, we are subsidizing it,” said Campbell. “So when individuals come, and companies come and make donations like this, it it just makes a huge difference to us.”
He said on Nov. 1 an 82-year-old from White Rock drove up to the Kitchen and dropped of a cheque for $5,000.
“He read in the Peace Arch News that we were taking over the White Rock Meals on Wheels program, so he dropped off a cheque and said, ‘Someday, I might need this service, so I want to give back while I still can.’
“So we’re very thankful to the local newspapers that are helping to get the story out.”
Kooner added if anyone is thinking about volunteering or has questions about it, they can contact him via phone or email.
The Cloverdale Community Kitchen can be found online by visiting mycck.ca. Kooner can be reached at 778-617-3000, ext 211, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Community Kitchen is located at 5337 180 Street.