The Feed My City program in White Rock that offered free lunches to those facing economic hardships during COVID 19 has returned to add more warmth and sustenance for those in need during current hard times.
But it’s back with a significant difference – White Rock Rotary Club, which previously spearheaded the project with help from the City of White Rock, has now joined forces with the White Rock Elks Club to continue it, with meals provided by South Surrey’s Red Rose Restaurant (which previously provided some of the weekly program meals), augmented by soups and other food prepared in the Elks’ kitchen.
The revived program, which is kept afloat by money donated by the public, had a successful trial run on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, and was officially relaunched Wednesday, Dec. 6.
Feed My City runs every Wednesday and Friday at noon, with meals distributed at the White Rock Elks Club, at 1469 George St. in uptown White Rock (from the west entrance, in the parking lot behind the building).
It’s a more sheltered location than the previous site – the parking lot next to the Oceana PARC Playhouse – and a building overhang behind the building provides additional shelter during rainy weather, White Rock Rotary president-elect Anthony Manning told Peace Arch News.
White Rock Elks president Al Burns added, during the Dec. 8 distribution, that the club also has tents it can place around the entrance, if needed.
Manning noted the program will be re-evaluated after six months and possibly expanded to more days per week, based on need, funding and vendors.
Reaction to the relaunch of Feed My City has already been very positive, volunteers agreed, with all meals being claimed during the trial run.
“It’s a great working relationship between clubs in the community,” Burns said of the joint venture.
“I’m looking forward to an ongoing association, and working together in other areas.”
“White Rock Rotary is honoured to partner with White Rock Elks and Red Rose Restaurant to help ease local food security concerns,” Manning said.
“We look forward to welcoming back the many seniors in the uptown area that benefited from the initial Feed My City program and Rotary and Elks are exploring other ways to work together on behalf of our community,” he added.
Among volunteers present on Dec. 8 – and helping regularly with the meal distribution – are White Rock Coun. Michele Partridge, former mayor Darryl Walker, and past council candidate Fiona McDermid.
“What makes it a community is that we can do things like this,” Walker said.