ESTEVAN - The Warm Welcome Kitchen is bringing its free suppers back starting next week.
The first free hot meal will be served out of St. Giles Anglican Church on Oct. 3, followed by another opportunity to enjoy some good food and fine company on Oct. 5 at Trinity Lutheran Church. After that free suppers will be served twice a week from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at St. Giles on Tuesdays and at Trinity on Thursdays. All are welcome to come out and enjoy the free meals.
President Wendy Godfrey said their cook and kitchen co-ordinator, Donna McGillicky, is looking forward to feeding the community.
"Our cook is anxious to get back at it. She had back surgery towards the end of last season, so she missed out on the last month. She's healed up remarkably well, and she's raring to get back into the kitchen," Godfrey shared. "She wanted to start on October 3, which is this coming Tuesday. So we said, 'Yeah, as soon as you want to start, you can.' So we're really excited about that."
The suppers are back to their regular format, where people can come in, have a full sit-down meal and socialize.
"We're happy that we're back to those nice sit-down meals, so people can get together and have good conversations and enjoy their meal together," Godfrey said.
She noted that they were "remarkably fortunate" this season, as they've received a great donation of food from the City of Estevan's concession at Affinity Place, which was turned over to Butter's Homemade Food. They also received $1,000 from Walmart to kick off the season.
Also, they had a number of local groups and individuals put their names on the list to volunteer, so Godfrey said the beginning of the season will be smooth. But then they will be looking for more donations and volunteers to keep doing their part.
"Of course, the money is a little short. And money doesn't go as far as it used to when it comes to groceries. So, money may become an issue but right now we've got enough to start at least," Godfrey said.
"It's always going to be costly to put those meals on. Although, our cook, Donna, is wonderful. She'll shop for bargains. And we're very fortunate to be a recipient of the Sobey's Food Rescue program. They donate quite a bit of stuff to us that proves useful. They provide a lot of meat for us, and meat is so expensive now. So that's a huge, huge help.
"And we are so … fortunate because this is a wonderful community. When it seems we can't go on financially, someone comes with a donation … We just hope for that to continue."
The hope is they'll have enough support to run a full season until the end of April, but it depends on funds.
"We're just looking forward to getting back at the meals and serving people food," Godfrey said.
They accept donations in the form of food and funds, and also welcome people to volunteer during suppers, helping the kitchen co-ordinator to serve meals. Tax receipts are available for monetary donations.
Warm Welcome Kitchen is also currently selling their Grocery Dash tickets for a chance to win a two-minute shopping spree at Sobeys in Estevan for up to $1,000 worth of groceries. The secondary prizes are $500 and $250 gift cards to Sobeys. Tickets are $10 each. The draw date is Nov. 2.
For tickets, to arrange for a donation or to sign up to volunteer, people can reach out to Godfrey by texting or calling 306-421-6122 or messaging Warm Welcome Kitchen through social media. Tickets are also available at Henders Drugs.