Volunteers pack Christmas food hampers for needy families Dec. 14 in the Alice McKay Building. Last year the Cloverdale Community Kitchen’s annual hamper program served around 500 families and this year organizers expect that number to climb higher. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

Volunteers pack Christmas food hampers for needy families Dec. 14 in the Alice McKay Building. Last year the Cloverdale Community Kitchen’s annual hamper program served around 500 families and this year organizers expect that number to climb higher. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

Cloverdale Community Kitchen adopts two low-income seniors’ complexes for Christmas outreach

COVID forces Community Kitchen to call an audible on Christmas dinner

Sometimes the smallest things can make a difference in someone’s life: a card, a gift, a meal, a telephone call.

That’s the insight Courtney van den Boogaard gained when the Cloverdale Community Kitchen (CCK) launched its outreach to seniors program earlier in December.

“We adopted two low-income seniors’ buildings in Cloverdale,” said van den Boogaard, director of communications for the CCK.

She said they decided to start an adopt-a-senior Christmas hamper program, in conjunction with the store “The Heart”, for the occupants of the two buildings. The idea being each senior would receive a hamper full of non-perishable food and a personalized gift.

Annie Christiaens, owner of The Heart, made little tags with the seniors’ fist names and the specific gift each senior wanted and hung the tags on a Christmas tree in her store.

“Customers would choose a tag, then buy and wrap a gift for that senior.”

They then brought the gifts back to the The Heart and volunteers from the Kitchen will deliver them with the seniors’ Christmas hampers.

DELIVERY

In the course of her calls to the seniors—to touch base about delivering the hampers and to inquire about what type of gift each senior wanted for Christmas—van den Boogaard found out many relied on the Kitchen’s Christmas dinner for not only their only holiday meal, but also their only holiday fellowship.

“A lot of the seniors have been isolated and they haven’t had any other contact with people.”

That when she had a eureka moment. If the seniors were going to be missing out on Christmas dinner, why not deliver the dinner to them?

The CCK has already decided to convert their sit-down Christmas dinner into a take-out dinner, so it wasn’t that much of stretch for van den Boogaard to add some take-out meals to the delivery items for seniors.

“They were excited just to be able to connect on the phone,” she said. “And they’re very excited that they’re going to have dinner delivered to them.”

A lot of heartwarming stories arose from the conversations van den Boogaard had with the seniors.

“We were calling to see what they would like for Christmas,” she explained. “A lot of the seniors would say, ‘Dear, I just want everyone to be happy.’ Or they’d say, ‘I miss hugs.’ That’s all they would say they wanted for Christmas. So the calls were really emotional.”

Other requests were small: a frying pan, socks, some guitar strings.

“Many of the requests touched our hearts. I am really glad we adopted those buildings and that we were able to do the adopt-a-senior program,” noted van den Boogaard. “They’re really happy they’re going to get a Christmas dinner brought to their door. Many don’t have the means to make it themselves, or to cook for one, so this dinner will make a big difference.”

TAKE OUT

Despite COVID-19, the Cloverdale Community Kitchen will again serve their big Christmas dinner to needy families.

“We alway do a big, sit-down Christmas dinner here. We serve about 300 people,” said Matthew Campbell, director for the Kitchen. “But this year we can’t do that, so we’re going to package it all and hand it out.”

Campbell and crew will host their take-out dinner at the Community Kitchen on Dec. 23 at 6 p.m.

“Everyone has to pre-register and then they’ll be able to pick up a full-on turkey Christmas dinner in take-out containers for their family,” said Campbell. “All of our hamper recipients will get that. Our food bank recipients will be able to sign up for that. And we’ll be delivering meals directly to the seniors in our outreach program.”

Campbell said they’ll serve about 500 Christmas dinners this year. That will include drive-thru take-out, in-person take-out for those without vehicles, and the meals for seniors.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

charityChristmasCloverdaleSeniors

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

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP Constable Mike Della-Paolera as seen in a cut-out used for the detachment’s Operation Double Take program. (File photo)
Surrey’s tall ‘Operation Double Take’ cop is on the move

Cut-out of Constable Mike Della-Paolera used in program to curb speeding and dangerous driving

In 2017, a member of the Disneyana Fan Club curated a small Community Treasures exhibit at the Museum of Surrey about the early days of Disney and the cartoonist Walt Disney. The museum is now accepting applications for its 2022 Community Treasures exhibition. (Photo: Submitted)
Museum of Surrey wants to spotlight local organizations and clubs

Museum now accepting applications for its 2022 Community Treasures exhibit

Musician Dana Vande is seen in a screenshot from a music video on Youtube. Vande recently released a pro-lockdown track in response to an Eric Clapton and Van Morrison anti-lockdown track.
Cloverdale musician writes pandemic response song to Van Morrison and Eric Clapton

Dana Vande answers a Clapton-Morrison anti-lockdown track with a pro-lockdown track

Family and friends of Hudson Brooks marched as part of a call for answers from an IIO investigation into his 2015 death. (Black Press Media files)
Inquest to look into RCMP shooting death of Hudson Brooks

Charges agains the RCMP officer who shot Brooks were stayed in 2019

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Delta Police dog retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Most Read