North Hastings Community Cupboard ran a soup kitchen out of their building at 2 Madawaska Street, but have had to stop doing that since the COVID-19 pandemic began but now – thanks to help from the community – they’re able to continue the program at Club 580.
Communications for the Foodbank Monica Piercy says that large donations have been coming in from the United Way Hastings-Prince Edward and they needed a large place to organize the supplies and distribute them. She says the team at the Foodbank reached out to Mayor of Bancroft Paul Jenkins to inquire about using the space at Club 580, which also has a kitchen in the back of the building.
“Our clients are really missing the soup kitchen,” Piercy tells the MyBancroftNow.com newsroom. “The Town was missing a place to have a hot meal.”
The soup kitchen opens today at 4 PM and will be handing out hot dinners until 7. That will be done between those same times Monday through to Friday. Lunches will be dished out from 11 AM until 2 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Piercy says what they’re doing now is more than what was offered before the pandemic.
Yummy Dog and The Muse Cafe are a couple of the people helping out in the kitchen. Alice’s Pantry is also donating some supplies that are needed like spices. Mayor Jenkins has also been lending a hand by dropping off donations. “He wasn’t looking for any recognition, he’s just in there working hard and getting things done for the community,” Piercy says. She adds that Hastings County has also pitched in $7,880. Piercy says that money will be used to hire a part-time coordinator to oversee the soup kitchen and for supplies.
Piercy says the support they’ve gotten from the community has been overwhelming. She says the team has been having trouble keeping up with all the donations and volunteer applications.
With an abundance of supplies and volunteer help, Piercy says they will continue the soup kitchen at Club 580 for as long as it’s needed. “We’re going to find a way,” she says. With the “incredible” group of volunteers and the “hard-working” board, they have a great foundation for the road ahead.
One more volunteer is needed to work in the kitchen. Piercy says to reach out to the Foodbank if you have safe food handling certification and would like to help. You can call 343-476-0177, email them at [email protected] or message them on Facebook if you’re interested.