A cheerful Christmas display can help spread some holiday cheer to those in the community who need it.
Those looking to add a bit of Christmas spirit to their homes can pick up some fresh-cut, heavily berried holly Friday and Saturday for a donation in support of the Shelbourne Community Kitchen. The holly will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16 across from the community kitchen in the parking lot of the Shelbourne Street Church of Christ, 3460 Shelbourne St.
The holly is being provided by longtime landscape maintenance gardener Bruce Saunders, who is retiring at the end of the month.
“There are a couple of huge raggedy holly trees that really need a haircut before I turn over the reins. It’s a gorgeous and natural way to deck the halls, to reuse and recycle, and help those in need at the same time – completely in line with the kitchen’s philosophy,” said Saunders, who recently started volunteering at the Shelbourne kitchen.
Located in a modest house in the 3500 block of Shelbourne Street, the facility offers programs that teach participants how to source, choose and prepare healthy food more affordably through its communal kitchen where participants receive cooking lessons from trained volunteers, almost half of which are also program participants. The kitchen also runs a garden and serves as a resource centre, building relations and resilience along the way. It also runs an emergency pantry program, where participants can select one item from one shelf, two from another, not forgetting to take a selection of produce from the fridge, much of it grown on site.
“I think our pantry program really champions dignity, choice and respect. People get to pick their own food, they’re not being supervised. And then the fresh produce coming in from our garden programs as well as gardeners in the area – it’s just a great little system,” said program co-ordinator Kim Cummins.
There’s no limit on how much holly people can take for their donation to the community kitchen.
“Pricing is simple: as much as you’d like to give for as much holly as you like to take. We’ve got plenty,” said Saunders.
For more information on the kitchen, visit shelbournecommunitykitchen.ca.