Community kitchen inches along

When money ran out and dreams of opening a community kitchen in Terrace fell short, volunteers and donors were quick to step in.

When money ran out and dreams of opening a community kitchen in Terrace fell short, volunteers and donors were quick to step in.

But there’s still a long way to go.

Building a community kitchen here involves renovating the Ksan House Society’s old emergency shelter on Hall St. right beside its new building. The project was set to be finished by April, but overshot its $65,000 budget by 11 per cent after structural damage was discovered in the building.

The money – $10,000 of which was provided by the federal government’s New Horizon program for a community kitchen and $55,000 that came from Ksan’s building maintenance fund – wasn’t enough to cover plumbing, electrical and structural renovations.

“They’re budgeting another $22,000 to complete the project,” said Diana Penner, co-organizer of the project.

“The structural stuff was done three weeks ago,” she said. “I’m hoping to  have the electrical done by next week providing that our quotes are approved by the board.”

Thanks to the help of a few community volunteers and donors the project is inching closer to completion.

Donations of paint and primer from RONA and community members have taken care of the inside walls.

Justin Penner volunteered his time building steps to the kitchen’s back entrance.

A dishwasher, stove, fridge and microwave are also on their way, and Penner spoke about the possibility of receiving a sink and faucet.

But a useable kitchen is far from complete.

The project still needs flooring, a commercial dishwasher, a large table or counter space on which to prepare food, cupboards, doors, door hardware, counters to hold the sink and faucet. Plants, tools, wheelbarrows and labour are needed as well for the greenhouse and garden neighbouring the kitchen.

The idea for a community kitchen in Terrace grew out of Ksan’s Hall St. community green house and garden space, when it became apparent to those running it that the art of  preparing what is grown was becoming lost.

“We realized more and more how many people didn’t know how to do the basic cooking,” Penner said.

“More and more people are realizing it’s expensive to buy food,” she added. “Did you know we could harvest our own wheat and make bread products here?”

Once complete, Penner said she hopes to use the greenhouse and garden to supply basic foods necessary for the classes. Classes will be offered for free, and the prepared food will be available to take home. The only cost to class-goers  will go to cover cans, jars and plastic bags if needed.

For anyone who would like to use the facilities on Hall St., regular greenhouse and garden hours begin in June, seven days a week, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Donations can be dropped off at the greenhouse as well.