DIDSBURY - For a number of years, Essentials for our Community has been helping out Didsbury residents who may need a little extra help with groceries and other needs.
These days, with so many out of work due to COVID-19 concerns, they are busier than ever.
In October of last year, the organization started running the Konnection Kitchen on Thursdays at the Didsbury Train Station to offer hot meals and a place to meet and socialize for people in the community. Of course, with social distancing measures in place they've had to make some changes but are still serving those in need with take away meals.
Sheree Andrews, president of Essentials, said they've been very busy in the kitchen preparing meals.
"For the Konnection Kitchen we are serving at the door with to go containers," said Andrews. "We’re making sure people have hot nutritious meals to take home with them. We’ve also prepped 300 freezer meals that are in the freezer ready for any of the vulnerable people in our community that can’t get out and shop for it or cook.”
Andrews said the freezer meals provide for one week of meals and are for extreme circumstances.
For the Konnection Kitchen, Andrews said they are looking at opening a second time each week to help provide during the crisis. She said they have three teams working at different times to keep everyone as safe as possible.
“We’re working with the same team of three people and they’re always on the same team together,” she said. “We’re keeping as much distance as we can.”
Andrews said they have reached out to the community looking for home-made masks to help ensure more safety.
“We have hand sanitizers and alcohol wipes with us,” she said. “We’re constantly wiping everything and washing our hands. Anyone with a fever or a cough are asked to remove themselves from the group.”
Andrews said they’re definitely seeing an increased rise in need for their services.
“There’s more demand,” she said. “We’re seeing more need for our services from the vulnerable population who can’t stockpile. They don’t have the economics to buy ahead and when they’re sick they can’t get out.”
The Kommunity Kitchen pick up meals continues to run on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Didsbury Train Station with a second date to be added soon, said Andrews.
The Kitchen is open to anyone who needs a hot meal. Andrews said they have volunteer security in place to ensure proper social distancing in the line-up.
“We also pick up food bank hampers for those who don’t have transportation or are on quarantine,” she said. “If they need their hamper they can call us.”
Andrews is grateful to the great response from the community.
“The Town of Didsbury as well has been extremely supportive, as well offering any kind of help we need,” she said.
For more information, call Essentials for our Community at 403-586-5836.
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