Shelter Kitchen Renovated to Serve Seniors

December 11, 2012 – Until recently, the old Streetlink Emergency Shelter kitchen at Cool Aid’s Swift House remained vacant after the move to Rock Bay Landing. In the last few months, however, it has been completely refurbished and is now being used to serve more nutritious, more delicious and more cost-effective seniors meals than was previously possible for tenants in Cool Aid supportive housing buildings.

“When the Society vacated Streetlink Shelter, we decided to preserve the old shelter kitchen while converting the rest into 23 additional units of supportive housing,” said John Crean, manager of housing. “We’re thankful that BFI Canada helped out with a generous cash donation.”

“We got more than we bargained for,” said Cool Aid’s Red Seal Chef Ron Curran. “The kitchen needed an extensive overhaul and Cool Aid spent $45,000 on new and refurbished equipment. But every penny will be recouped through cost savings over time.”

The kitchen renovation allows the Society to centralize food services for three Cool Aid seniors buildings. By March 2013, 165 daily meals will be prepared and delivered out of Swift House. Assisted living building Hillside Terrace came on stream first on Thanksgiving and this month Cool Aid has added FairWay Woods in Langford. In 2013, Olympic Vista in Saanich will also benefit from the new food services for seniors.

“Preparing meals in the new kitchen is working very well,” said Chef Curran. “Our tenants are eating better and eating more with the improved food services. Our 30-day rotation of meals ensures a wide variety of homemade and nutritious ‘comfort’ foods that seniors enjoy. We buy and use just about all of our products fresh and make almost everything from scratch, including desserts.”

Ten thousand dollars was donated by BFI Canada, who handle Cool Aid’s recycling and waste, to help with the kitchen equipment costs. “Everyone deserves good food. BFI Canada wanted to help make life better for people in our community who have been through a lot and need support,” said Michael Tripp, BFI Canada’s district manager.

The Victoria Cool Aid Society is helping to build homes and a better community through compassionate people who provide a variety of services that improve people’s lives, including: housing, food services, health care, support, and emergency shelter. Cool Aid focuses its services for adults who are homeless or in need of help and provides assistance to over 10,000 individuals every year.

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