For Immediate Release - Friday, May 8, 2020
Volunteers are using the public health inspected kitchen to supply freshly prepared food including soups, frozen dinners, sandwiches, and baked goods to Hope House, The Bench and the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition.
The idea for the Kitchen Bees began at the Church of the Apostles just as other projects were being shut down. The church hosts the Breakfast Club Program for GCVI and had just finished planning a series of free community dinners when restrictions were put into effect. The church decided to pivot and begin using the kitchen to prepare food for emergency food providers. Reverend Miller stated “as a member of our community one of the things the Church can offer is a kitchen that has the capacity to prepare food for many people”.
Kitchen Bees is using volunteers that have been isolating together during the shut down to prepare food. Family members, roommates, and people already isolating together make up the roster of volunteers. Each group is screened before they come to the church and provided with instructions on food handling and the extra steps required because of COVID-19. Program Coordinator John Dennis noted that “the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has been a great help to us in setting up this program. They have provided us with guidance and resources to establish our Food Safety Plan”.
The volunteers for the Kitchen Bees decide what they want to prepare and forward the recipe to the Program Coordinator. The ingredients and supplies are purchased and ready for the participants when they arrive at the church. One of the elements of the Food Safety Plan is to consider how the food will be prepared and stored until eaten. Program Coordinator John Dennis said “there is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into making this food. The church is really proud of the volunteers who are preparing this delicious food for our community.”
Support for the program has come from a number of sources. A grant from the Guelph COVID-19 Community Response Fund provided by the United Way of Guelph Wellington Dufferin and the Guelph Community Foundation helped to kick start the program. Additional funding came from the Second Chance Employment Agency to hire a Program Facilitator. Finally, The Seed is providing donations of food to support the Kitchen Bees.
Those in the community can help
out in a few ways. Volunteers who want to prepare food can contact the Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
to see if there are spots available. Donations can be made through the Canada Helps website for the church. Finally, if you have a favourite and simple recipe that you would like to share, please email it to the Program Coordinator. We are looking for soup, casserole, and cookie recipes.
Laurie Douglas, a church Warden and one of the Kitchen Bees Committee members said, “preparing and supplying food to local emergency providers through the Kitchen Bees program will restore our desire to nourish our community. The combination of our volunteers and the church kitchen will make this project a success.”
About the Church of the Apostles:
The Church of the Apostles, located at the corner of Paisley Rd. and Glasgow St. N., is the amalgamation of two congregations, St. Matthias Anglican Church and St. James the Apostle Anglican Church. On September 5, 2017, the unique identity of each church entered a covenantal agreement that brought the two parishes together to create a new congregation with new ways of being Church and with the intent of celebrating the best of the two histories.