Last Friday marked a significant milestone for Cloverdale’s newest community outreach project – construction on a community kitchen at Pacific Community Church is substantially complete.
And what better way to celebrate the near completion of the Cloverdale Community Kitchen than with a slice of cake?
“May God bless Cloverdale community kitchen,” it read, in icing.
The congregation held a soft opening on Sunday, Dec. 1 and the official opening will take place some time in February, coinciding with the Coldest Night of the Year Campaign, Alan Cadwell, director of facilities development, announced in a newsletter to supporters this week.
They’re not yet serving hot meals out of the new kitchen – there are still some finishing touches to do, including securing approvals and permits from the City of Surrey, Fraser Health and the Surrey fire department.
The church, located at 5337 180 Street, began raising money for the project a year ago, when the congregation approved a plan to build a food safe, commercial kitchen for the church and other concerned community groups.
More than $400,000 was raised, along with donations of in-kind goods, which included a sizable donation of kitchen equipment from a single individual.
The new, commercial-grade community kitchen [pictured] includes a professional dish washing system, commercial oven, restaurant grade stove and grill, a steam and a 70-litre soup still. There’s also a spacious walk-in cooler and a pantry.
Extensive renovations were necessary to create a kitchen that could be used by multiple people and groups wanting to address community needs.
This fall, construction forced the three weekly soup kitchen initiatives based out of Pacific Community Church to halt operations.
Once the permits and approvals are in place, those programs can resume.
But the longer term goal is to expand programming in order to reach out to more people in need, such as the growing number of seniors and working poor in Cloverdale, Cadwell said.