Part of the appeal of the Abrigo’s Life and Hope seniors group is the opportunity for members to share meals together with other clients. For $5 per visit, clients can enjoy both breakfast and lunch. Understanding that many of our clients are on a fixed income, that reduced rate keeps the door open to as many clients as possible. This nominal fee does not however cover all of Abrigo’s costs and fundraising is ongoing to keep this program up and running.
For the last six years, the lack of a full-scale kitchen for our volunteers to prepare each meal has influenced what is prepared for the clients. The key missing piece is a large commercial size oven with the capability to cook or re-heat meals for our expanding client numbers. Having the oven, a new commercial-size fridge/freezer, dishwasher and a larger, renovated space to prepare meals will be a huge boon to the efficiency of the program and the quality of the food served. Simply put, better food means more and happier clients and better appliances makes the work of our volunteers who serve 80 to 100 people each day easier.
The creation of a new kitchen would be one key component of a larger renovation project that would also see the construction of new, accessible washrooms on the second floor.
For the kitchen renovation to move forward there are two additional components that must take place to ensure that the safety, health and well-being of our clients. First, is a new building-wide fire alarm and emergency lighting system. This is a requirement to remain compliant with all municipal and provincial codes and regulations associated with having a working commercial stove in the building.
Second, again in association with the new kitchen and the required safety elements, the second exterior exit on that floor needs to be revamped. This includes a new exterior door, new stairs down to Abrigo’s patio on the roof of our building’s garage and new, wider exterior stairs down to ground level. This will allow for greater safety and increased accessibility in case of an emergency.
As stated, the renovation and creation of a new kitchen cannot move forward without the completion of these two projects as well.