Community Kitchen open, other services expected to move in early January
SUMMERSIDE – Usually after the Christmas holidays have passed the staff and volunteers of the Summerside Salvation Army Church can slow down – if not take a break.
But not this year.
This year they will be busy putting the finishing touches on their newly expanded facility on Pope Road.
The church had hoped to have everything moved into the expanded facility before Christmas, but that didn’t happen, said Major Willis Drover.
“It’s just that we were so busy,” said Drover.
“We were probably about a month late in starting with construction. If we could have started on schedule when we thought we were going to start it would have been fine. But it all worked out,” he added.
The work on the building itself is largely done, although there is still some work needed to the exterior of the building and one room destined to be multipurpose.
The church has already been running most of its Christmas programs out of the expansion.
The Pope Road facility will eventually house the food bank, family services and community kitchen services under one roof, whereas they have traditionally been spread out over various locations.
So far, the kitchen is the only service that has fully moved into the new location, with family services and the food bank expected to be integrated by Jan. 15.
Darlene MacDonald, a cook in the community kitchen, has been working out of the new facility for only a short while, but loves it already.
“Oh it’s beautiful,” she said MacDonald.
“Now we have a six-burner stove and two ovens, before we had your everyday electric stove you’d have at home. And you’re trying to get a huge Paderno pot on there? You were just juggling all the time.
“But this is beautiful. We have all kinds of space,” she said.
There’s a ribbon cutting and grand opening planned for sometime in the new year, but for now Drover is just focusing on getting through the holidays and moving everything into the new location.
“We haven’t really talked a lot about that yet, we’ve got to get Christmas behind us. All of our staff here – they need a break right about now,” said Drover.