Soup kitchen forced to close doors

Rainbow Kitchen volunteers working to secure new site

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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Volunteers collect and deliver pet food across Greater Victoria during COVID-19 pandemic

Richard Hawkes has ‘food coming out of his ears’ and would love to help those in need

Cycling advocates call for more pedestrian space, temporary bike lanes during pandemic

An increase in foot traffic means transportation needs to be prioritized, advocates say

Local grocers, Victoria Foundation raise over $30,000 for Food Rescue Project

Donation will go towards food insecure communities in region

‘We’re running out of options’: Victoria looks to other municipalities to help shelter homeless

Victoria Curling Club, Crystal Pool ruled out as options for the 250 people remaining outside

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

Doctors trained abroad want to join front lines of COVID-19 fight in Canada

B.C. is looking to allow internationally trained doctors to work under the supervision of attending physicians

Fake test kits and other COVID online scams play on public anxiety: fraud centre

Vancouver has seen a spike in commercial property crimes, with offices and stores empty because of COVID-19

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Feds amplify stay-home message as cost of financial aid to Canadians mounts

Liberals have unveiled around $200B in direct financial aid and tax deferrals

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

World COVID-19 update: Six million U.S. jobless claims; Russia sends medical aid to U.S.

Comprehensive update with COVID-19 news from around the world

Most Read