After more than a year, Riun Blackwell’s dream is becoming a reality.
It’s about putting food on the plates of people who, because of disabilities, health or age, may find it difficult to fend for themselves. Starting on Tuesday (Oct. 15), pre-made, healthy meals will be available to Squamish residents unable to prepare food themselves. Through a partnership with the Mountain Valley Mission and the North Shore Salvation Army’s New Hope Cuisine, approximately 200 prepared meals and soups will be brought to Squamish for distribution.
“We are in tough times,” Blackwell told The Chief at the outset of his mission. “Everybody is hard pressed now.”
New Hope Cuisine, based in North Vancouver, collects surplus food from wholesalers and retailers, redirects a portion of it and creates affordable, frozen meals with the rest. The kitchen also provides an on-the-job, supervised training program for students having difficulty learning through traditional teaching.
Armed with meals, on Thursday (Oct. 10), the kitchen’s chefs made the trek to Squamish to share their creations with locals. Organizers plan to send some of the program’s entrées to the Sea to Sky community to gauge residents’ interest.
“We will quickly be able to ramp up as soon as there is demand,” the program’s head chef Scott Rowe said, noting any expansion will rely heavily on volunteers.
An individual frozen meal costs $4 and $1.50 for soup. The meals will be distributed through Mountain Valley Mission, Rev. Barclay Mayo said, noting he has talked to a number of interested seniors.
The meals fill a gap for people who may be in care but want to be self-sufficient, he noted. Backers plan to offer bulk deliveries to senior centres, he added.
For more information www.mountainvalleymission.ca or call (604) 567-7400.