During our service month, we are highlighting soup kitchens all over the world that are doing good for their communities. This week is the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.
Vancouver, British Colombia is often called the LA of Canada and with its mild weather that hugs the Pacific beaches but like many port cities, it has its problems. One of them is a symptomatic of the drug trade and families living at the poverty line — domestic violence. Women on the downtown eastside lose out in this scenario, narrowly escaping violent situations and sadly, with children in tow. The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre was conceived of in the 1980’s and has provided a safe shelter for battered women.
Their kitchen is also a safe haven for women and their children to receive meals filled with love and hope. Their website says it all:
“Our kitchen staff works tirelessly, preparing between 8,000 and 9,000 nutrition-packed meals a month—breakfasts twice weekly, daily lunches, and special group dinners almost every night. The Chefs, along with dedicated volunteers also prepare Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and a summertime BBQ picnic.These are no “meat-and-two-veg” meals you might expect from a “soup” kitchen. Every meal is carefully planned, consisting of multiple and varied nutrients. Working with a tight budget and limited donations, the Chefs always look for creative ways to increase the nutritional content of the meals. A typical salad, always served with lunch, includes carrots, celery, red cabbage, green lettuce, raisins, and sunflower seeds. Dressings are made from scratch. The Chefs always choose brown over white rice. There’s always a serving of protein in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. These are among the healthiest meals you’ll find in the GVRD.”
If you live in the area, consider volunteering your time to support the most vulnerable group on the Vancouver streets.
About the Author
Jeannie Mark left the corporate cubicle in 2010 and bought a one-way ticket to India, never looking back once. Through her travel/creative website, Nomadic Chick she inspires other women to seek out the same, an impassioned life full of purpose. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.