Soup kitchen forced to close doors

Rainbow Kitchen volunteers working to secure new site

Al Lindskoog

Al Lindskoog

When Al Lindskoog delivered the bad news last Friday that the Rainbow Kitchen volunteers will serve their last free home-cooked meal to the needy two days before Christmas, a hush fell over the dining room.

David Minshall was saddened by the news that the Anglican Diocese of B.C. has received an offer to purchase St. Saviour’s church and parish hall in Vic West, one of seven properties on the South Island up for sale.

“It will certainly be a hardship not to be able to come here,” said Minshall, a 67-year-old Victoria resident who says the meals help him stretch his old age pension. “I started coming here about a year ago. I heard how good the food was here.”

The Victoria Rainbow Kitchen Society, which formed in spring 2010, was notified last week that they had to be out of the hall at 310 Henry St. by Jan. 19.

“We knew it was coming and at the same time wished it wouldn’t happen at all,” said Lindskoog, a society director and volunteer dishwasher at the kitchen. “We would be much happier remaining there because that’s where the Rainbow Kitchen has become what it is.”

To give themselves time to pack, volunteers will serve the final meal Dec. 23, “which is in a way a really sad way to do it, but at the same time we can end with a party, so to speak,” Lindskoog said.

The operation started out a decade ago by serving soup and sandwiches one day a week. Even after St. Saviour’s Anglican Church closed in March 2010, 100 volunteers have continued to take turns serving about 125 people a day, Monday to Friday, including most statutory holidays.

People living on fixed incomes, single parents, families in need and the homeless don’t just come to Rainbow Kitchen for the meal.

“At the same time it’s much more than a building, it’s the sense of community and the people that go there,” Lindskoog said.

Despite having to close, there may still be a pot of gold waiting at the end of their rainbow, in the form of a new home.

The society’s directors are in early talks to move to another site in the Vic West-Esquimalt area, Lindskoog said, adding that even if that works out, the kitchen will have to close for “a few weeks” while the site is upgraded.

“It’s always sad when something like this happens at a time when the people who are least able to handle the challenge of being in need are facing a greater need,” Lindskoog said.

To donate or volunteer, please call 250-384-2069.

 

Just Posted

Victoria-born, 16-time Grammy winning musician David Foster penned a letter to the Greater Victoria School District May 7 urging them not to cut music programs. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
David Foster joins fight to save music in Greater Victoria School District

‘Music is the great equalizer’ Foster wrote in a letter to the district

‘Nindanikoobijiganag: We are Star People’ by Mississauga Nishnaabe Lucbanin artist Estrella Whetung. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria beadwork exhibit speaks to evolving, enduring nature of Indigenous art

On Beaded Ground features work from West Coast artists and a Cedar Hill Middle School group

Former Victoria HarbourCat and Chicago White Sox player Andrew Vaughn. (Photo courtesy of Chicago White Sox)
Former Victoria HarbourCat hits first MLB home run, adds another two days later

Andrew Vaughn is the first HarbourCat alumni to hit a homer in the majors

A seniors housing complex proposed for Cedar Hill Road in Saanich was supported by council after a public hearing on May 12. (Rendering by Jenson Group Architects)
New 85-unit seniors housing development gets green light from Saanich council

Four-storey rental complex would be located on Cedar Hill Road

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read