Once a week, Melissa spends time at The Kitchen assisting with food prep and packaging for the Meal Delivery program. These ‘home-cooked” dishes are hand-made and delivered weekly to provide seniors and individuals with limited physical abilities with healthy, nutritious meals. Melissa enjoys helping at The Kitchen, and is no stranger when it comes to connecting the community through food. Melissa began learning her food skills through the Bagel Club, a social enterprise through the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver (JCC). When the pandemic happened, she used her knowledge and experience to help the JCC chef prepare pre-measured foods with cooking instructions that were delivered to participants of a virtual cooking class.
When Melissa’s mother heard about The Kitchen, she knew that it would be a great fit for her. Melissa’s WorkBC employment counsellor connected with Carol Hopkins, JFS’ Food Security Operations Coordinator, and Melissa has been at the Kitchen ever since. Melissa’s ties to giving back go further than building community; it continues to enhance her own life as well. Volunteering has played a part in Melissa’s personal and professional growth this past year. Spending time at The Kitchen reinforces her work skills, including goal-setting and socializing. Helping distribute meals to the community makes her feel good but also helps her build relationships with other volunteers and staff. “I really enjoy helping the cause, the community.” Melissa is an amazing example of what happens when you help the community – it rewards you back in a multitude of ways.