Words of Praise from the Rainbow Kitchen

Written by the Rainbow Kitchen Team

A Thanksgiving gift came early to the Rainbow Kitchen from Victoria’s HeroWork. It came not as turkey, but as a Radical Renovation with tons of expertise, equipment, and building materials being donated by over 120 businesses, 170 trades, and 2,247 heart-filled hours volunteered from 300 workers. In only 3 weekends, our old facility became a cheerful, welcoming clean place that looks like new. Opening just in time for Thanksgiving lunch on October 10, over 250 meals were served that one day.

Now – The Proof of the Pudding:

Dennis and the Walk-In Fridge

The Rainbow Kitchen renovation looks great, but does it do the job? Do people think it’s an improvement? You bet they do!

Here are some responses from those who experience the changes every day.

For Dennis, who specializes in chopping carrots, the best part of the refit came in a huge parcel marked WALK-IN COOLER. It’s upstairs, right next to the kitchen. Before, kitchen volunteers needed to rummage through 5 regular-sized fridges next to the kitchen, or brave the basement steps to look through boxes stored down there to find any ripe produce hiding in the dark. Now, it’s so easy. Open the door to a large refrigerated space and check the shelves for what’s for lunch! This means less food loss overall.

Add to this WOW factor, the reorganization of the loading/unloading area on the back porch. Our volunteers who sort incoming crates of food no longer need to bend so much or carry so far. This is not only a food saver, it’s a BACK saver.

Cathy and other Rainbow Kitchen Volunteers

Cathy, working on silverware here with her helpers, says the clean new smell of the place gives everyone who comes in a boost. Even better is Gigi’s new office– now the kitchen manager actually has a dedicated private work space AND a window – no more sharing a storage closet with extra tables and other paraphernalia!! This makes more effective and efficient on-site planning for the Kitchen overall.

David, a guest who also volunteers at the Rainbow Kitchen, luxuriates in the new sense of space in the main eating area. The tables have had a face lift, painted in rainbow colours; and as another guest, Derek notes, the floor is sturdy, clean and warm looking.

One of our regular guests, Trucker, points up that all the walls were painted, and new fans installed. Maybe these bits seem small given the scale of the refit, but it’s often the smallest items that create the most welcome for everyone, guest and volunteer. “Here at the Rainbow Kitchen, you can be yourself”, Trucker says: “The world is full of good people”.

Eric – Volunteer Chef at the Rainbow Kitchen

Edelma & David, landscapers at heart, have both fallen for the new patio area and kitchen gardens. Next summer, freshness will be no further away than the ends of your fingers as you stroll through the new veggie plots. The patio area is a delightful place to enjoy the breezes and listen to the visiting hummers. Everything works together to create a safe place, meeting new friends and building ‘community’.

It’s the Tuesday chef – Eric – who pointed out the safety benefits of the new non-skid kitchen flooring. His professional’s eye recognized that the chance of fewer accidents in the kitchen can only mean greater overall efficiency (& happier volunteers). AND add to this the brand-new water tap located at the new commercial stovetop. When a recipe calls for 10 gallons of water – hey, you can fill the pot up directly on the burner rather than having to cart water over from the sink.

Thanks, HeroWork, for looking after the health and safety of our volunteers and guests. But, this is not yet the end of the story.

Curtis – Clean Up Expert

Gigi agrees that HeroWork has certainly put much thought into everyone’s health & safety. Here, it’s the new dish washer that’s caught her eye. Now, says Curtis, one of the clean-up experts, it only takes 90 SECONDS per load for the dirty plates, cups, cutlery, and pots to be ready for reuse.

Finally, there is one refit update that everyone, male/female guest/volunteer, raves about. It’s the brand new bathrooms! From a single convenience that required key access, we now have two walk-in designated bathrooms.

That’s better than home!

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