Community lunch brings townsfolk together

Robert Fisher photo A nearly full house for the second week of the Shiretown Community Services Community Kitchen Fridays lunch at the All Saints Anglican Church Parish Hall in Saint Andrews.

SAINT ANDREWS – In spring of this year, All Saints Anglican Church started a weekly lunch offering with a take-out only format.

Unfortunately, they didn’t get the results they were hoping for. There were still concerns about COVID at that time and what the church wanted was a way to bring people together.

This autumn, they have created that opportunity. Their first community dinner, called Community Kitchen Fridays took place on Oct. 21.

Linda Walsh, vice-chair of Shiretown Community Services, which hosts the lunch, said the lunches help bring community members together to meet and talk.

“We have seniors living along who are lonely, maybe someone has health issues and difficulty making a meal,” said Walsh. These lunches give people a chance to come out, talk and have a meal they didn’t have to make.

The menus are pretty simple: soup, chili, rolls, cookies for dessert, and tea and coffee.

There are five trainees working at the lunches who have barriers to employment and these lunches help give them training in food service.

One of the trainees, Julian Rigby, took the culinary program at New Brunswick Community College.

“I’m sort of the quote unquote second in command because I have a cooking degree,” said Rigby.

Helen Smith is the instructor for the trainees and head cook. She says the trainees come in on Thursday to prep and make the soups. Friday is lunch day when the staff come in to serve the lunches and clean up.

Pamela, Charlotte and Byron were sitting having soup last week. All three were pleased with having the chance to get together with friends and chit chat to catch up on the goings-on of the week.

“I think that’s important for all of us,” said Pamela.

All three agreed that the soups were very good, too.

Byron said he was eight, he used to deliver the Pictou Advocate, a sister publication to The Courier.

Charlotte shared that she was one of the original eight graduates from the dental hygienist program at Dalhousie University.

Then she lowered her head slightly and whispered, “That was a long time ago.”

Lunches are free and donations are welcome. Service begins at 11:30 a.m. and runs to 1:30 p.m. The program will run Fridays through Dec. 16 before taking a two-week break over Christmas. Two weeks in November will be on Thursday instead of Friday: Nov. 10 and 17.

For more details about Community Kitchen Fridays, contact Shiretown Community Services at shiretowncommunityservices@gmail.com.

robertfisher@stcroixcourier.ca