On Wednesday October 7 , Grace Place celebrated the official opening of its new Community Kitchen with a “Chili to Warm the Heart” cook-off between Peel Regional Police, Brampton Fire Department (the winners at right) , Peel Ambulance and Regeneration Outreach. Kitchen renovations, costing $250,000 took place over the summer. Funding was provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), Region of Peel Homelessness Strategy, United Church of Canada, Seeds of Hope Foundation, Brampton Caledon Community Foundation, Arbor Foundation, Grace United Church, Regeneration Outreach Community, Brampton Hydro and Davis Webb LLP.
Natalie Bortkiewicz, an OTF Program Manager, was at the event to congratulate Grace Place on the work done with the $149,600 it received earlier this year. OTF is an agency of the Government of Ontario and is focused on helping to create healthier and more vibrant communities. Local MPP Vic Dhillon, who was in the Legislature and couldn’t attend, also offered his congratulations.
“Grace Place’s community kitchen serves 65,000 people each year. Investing in modernizing their kitchen will go a long way towards building a healthier more vibrant community in Brampton. I also want to thank the management and volunteers of Grace Place for the amazing work they do every day. Keep up the good work.” – Vic Dhillon, MPP for Brampton West
Six community organizations deliver programs from the kitchen. When it was designed and built in 1959, no one could envision the workload it now endures 365 days a year.
“We concluded the kitchen was no longer viable and needed to be updated to meet existing need but also anticipated growth,” says Chris Moon, Chair of Grace Place Board. “The new kitchen has been designed with commercial finishes that will last for decades to come. “
The downtown Brampton location serves people living on the margins of society. At the Community Kitchen, everyone can find a hot meal and friendship.
SharED has found that one in five children in Peel live in poverty, with many being in downtown Brampton. Grace Place is home to over 20 organizations who meet to find comfort and compassion. They include self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, to groups that teach young parents needed skills. Like any home, the Grace Place Community Kitchen is the heart of the centre.
Six local organizations deliver programs from the kitchen.
Regeneration Outreach Community is a community of caring persons who, as an expression of Christian love in action, are continually striving to provide dignity to the lives of all those in need. It operates seven days a week bringing healing, personal growth and spiritual awareness to those in need within a safe and caring environment.
“We are very thankful to Grace Place and Grace United Church for the place to serve our guests and General Manager Lucy Kristen’s dedication this past summer to see the completion of this renovation project, “says Ted Brown, Executive Director, Regeneration Outreach Community. “Hundreds of volunteers have given 1000’s of hours as we served over 42,000 breakfasts and lunches in 2014. The newly renovated kitchen is helping us to continue serving our guests with excellence. It will also enable us to develop our community kitchen program as we teach our guests how to prepare healthy, inexpensive meals.”
Grace Place is asking that you support the Community Kitchen by considering a donation for this important resource to our community.
Tax delectable donations can be made to Grace United Church noting the Community Kitchen Fund or at Canadahelps.org