The Cloverdale Community Kitchen is relaunching its free store this year.
Matthew Campbell, the director the Community Kitchen said he couldn’t open the store for past two years because of COVID.
In the past, the free store has been reserved for people registered with Kitchen’s Christmas Hamper Program, but this year Campbell will also open it up to the public.
“We’re going to open our annual free store again, we started it a few years ago, but this year we’re going to open it to anyone in need,” said Campbell.
He expects about 2,000 people registered with the Christmas Hamper Program to come through the store Dec. 17, plus whoever shows up when the store opens to all at noon that day.
“We’ll have racks and racks of clothing,” said Campbell. “Winter jackets, boots, other items, small household items that people might need, and used toys.”
He said the store really helps those in need, especially new Canadians.
“Some refugees that just arrived came with only a suitcase and they don’t have the clothing they need,” explained Campbell. “This gives them a chance to get some extra clothing. There’s a lot of other people that could use good winter boots or gloves or mitts, kids clothing, and so much more.”
He noted they’ll have everything set in different sections for easy shopping, including a toy section comprised of gently used items that will all be in good working condition.
“There are a lot of families in need right now and they’d love to be able to pick up clothing and save a bit, or get things they couldn’t afford themselves,” added Campbell.
In terms of small household items, Campbell said they have things like cutlery, plates, pots and pans, small appliances, coffee makers, crockpots, toaster ovens, etc.
“It’s been really great to be able to give back to the community this way in past years and I’m sure this year will be the same,” he said.
While there’s already been a lot of donations for the free store, Campbell said, with potentially more than 2,000 people shopping for items Dec. 17, there is still a need for more donations. Gently used clothes, household items, and toys can be brought down to the Community Kitchen, located in the Pacific Community Church, Dec. 6 to 9 from 9 a.m to 7 p.m. Next week, Dec. 12 to 16, items can be dropped off at Shannon Hall on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds between 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
“We’ll accept anything that’s still in good useful condition,” noted Campbell. “Nothing that’s torn, ripped, or broken.”
Campbell said they’re also looking for volunteers to work 2-3 hour shifts helping out at the store between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 17. Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact the Community Kitchen through their website.
The free store will open at noon Dec. 17 in Shannon Hall on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.
For more info, visit mycck.ca.
The Community Kitchen is located at 5337 180th Street in Cloverdale.