In Oct 2016, HeroWork completed a three-weekend $500,000 Radical Renovation on the Rainbow Kitchen, inside the Esquimalt United Church, a hub for many non-profits.

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About the Project

Our major 2016 project was for the Rainbow Kitchen inside the Esquimalt United Church at 500 Admirals Road in Esquimalt.

The Rainbow Kitchen is a non-denominational community kitchen that serves 6,000 meals a year to street youth, single moms and kids, seniors, the  unemployed and under employed, as well as the mentally challenged. They provide food security to the poor and disenfranchised in CRD, while creating a true sense of community and family.

The problem was that the building they operate out of was at the end of its lifespan and in need of extensive renovations to ensure the long-term sustainability of this crucial service.

Because the Esquimalt United Church is a community hub of non-profits, other groups were be affected by the upgraded facilities: a francophone pre-school, Alcoholics Anonymous, a Dragon Boat paddling club, gardening groups, community dances, and more.

The value of this event was $500K.

To complete it, approximately 120 companies, 170 trades, and hundreds more volunteers were inspired and engaged. The results is a beautified neighbourhood, refreshed and sustainable non-profit facilities, better workflow and increased efficiency, reduced utilities, as well as a better mindset for staff, volunteers, and guests.


What Did We Do?

Electrical: Main panel and sub panels replaced’ distribution re-done; dedicated circuits routed into church offices; outlets replaced with GFI’s; lighting replaced with low cost LED’s; two high fans installed for air distribution and heat savings; exterior lighting upgraded; added to code emergency access lights.

Landscaping: Smoking area relocated; two patios installed; arbor installed; new Japanese garden; new wheelchair ramp; widened wheel chair walkway for proper access; relocated bike rack; installed proper pathways; low maintenance lavender field; install of irrigation systems; repair of perimeter drain; re-graveled driveway; installed of food production garden with proper gated access.

Exterior Envelope: 36 windows replaced with 14 larger, energy efficient windows; replaced two double emergency access doors with panic bars; installed new back exit door to loading dock; six cedar shingled roofs replaced.

Loading dock: Expanded dock to 200%; rebuilt three fences into a single fence; new stairs; new working bench for sorting produce; increased roof by 400% for safety and weather protection.

Design: Painted exterior and interior of building, including all trim and doors; reupholstered 35 chairs; renewed 24 tables; installed sound baffling in main hall; exterior and interior benches by front door; new bathroom toiletries; new signs; integrated aesthetics.

Kitchen: New low temperature dishwasher; stainless steel island; reinstalled old stainless counters; new commercial coffee maker; new stainless racking; installed refurbished commercial ovens; new fire suppression system; new hood over stoves to bring it to code; new insulated fire-wall behind stoves; prep area; installed walk-in fridge; new pot filler; new stainless shelving around dishwasher; new dish sprayer; new gas lines and valves.

Plumbing and Ducting: New fixtures and plumbing in all bathrooms; half of the toilets replaced; regulator installed in kid’s bathroom; new janitor sink installed; washer and dryer installed; back-flow preventer in kitchen; new 2” water main; reconfiguration of heat ducking.

Storage: New cabinetry installed in the main hall, kitchen, multi-purpose room, front entrance, and hallway; new chair storage; new table storage; replace pre-school storage; new janitor closet.

Bathrooms: Handicap bathroom installed, new tiles installed in all three bathrooms; new flooring; new fixtures, lighting, and drywall; new whisper ventilation fans.

Safety: Electrical upgrades; running man emergency fire exits; to code panic bars; lever handles; install of fire egress exit; to code wheelchair access; fire suppression system in kitchen; fire egress plan.

Flooring: 3000 square feet of commercial grade flooring; install of commercial safety matt by front entrance; new commercial kitchen flooring; new tiles in walk-in fridge.

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An Issue of Food Security

The Rainbow Kitchen sees the effects of household food insecurity on a daily basis. Inadequate or insecure access to food because of financial constraints, is a significant social and health problem in Canada. In 2012, 4 million individuals in Canada, including 1.15 million children, experienced some level of food insecurity. This represents nearly 13% of Canadian households.

Households with children under the age of 18 were at greater risk for food insecurity than households without children (15.6% versus 11.4%). Food insecure households include 1.15 million children, or 16% of all children under the age of 18. This means that household food insecurity affected nearly one in every six children in Canada in 2012.

Seventy percent of households whose major source of income was social assistance were food insecure, as were 38.4% of those reliant on Employment Insurance or Workers’ Compensation. However, the majority of food insecure households (62.2%) were reliant on wages or salaries from employment. Other household characteristics associated with a higher likelihood of food insecurity included being a female lone parent (34.3% were food insecure), having an income below the Low Income Measure (29.0%), being black (27.8%), being Aboriginal (28.2%), and renting rather than owning one’s home (26.1%).

See the full report on food security here.