It’s “Soup for the Soul” being served out of the new Salvation Army Family Services Centre commercial kitchen starting on March 3, with the official opening event of the new food bank and meal center at 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.The community is encouraged to help fill the shelves for the big day.
Lieutenant Dawn Butt, pastor at the Salvation Army, said the extensive renovation project, bringing the food bank and the soup kitchen under one roof on Frazer Street, has been some time in coming. The completion of the $1.15 million project couldn’t have been possible without the $450,000 donation from the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Community Investment Fund, she said, which attributed to just less than 40 percent of the total costs.
Starting in 2021, the renovations included building a new commercial kitchen with a walk-in freezer and fridge, new kitchen equipment and supplied to expand the meal centre services. The dining room was expanded with alterations to the church sanctuary to allow more space for the new food bank and dry food storage area.
All services are now amalgamated under one roof at the church site.
The new canteen will serve breakfast and lunch each day. Butt said currently, the organization feeds 30 for breakfast daily and up to 60 for lunch. On a weekly basis, the Salvation Army Food Bank assists more than 30 to 40 families with groceries and food hampers.
The upgrades bring the kitchen space to commercial standards and ensure the Salvation Army has the infrastructure in place to serve better the community’s growing needs well into the future, PRPA stated.
Butt said she is excited about the upgrades as they allow the organization to open a new chapter in its history on the North Coast.
“We are now equipped with new tools and the space necessary to offer a greater level of service through our Continuum-of-Care model,” the pastor said.
“The Salvation Army has played a vital role in Prince Rupert for over four decades, providing nutritious meals and food through its soup kitchen and food bank that serve the needs of the most vulnerable in our community,” said Shaun Stevenson, president and CEO of PRPA.
“This project enables them to deliver those critical services more efficiently and continue to promote healthy living and development amongst individuals and families.”
K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist
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