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Sylvain Piquette was ecstatic. The WN Community Kitchen has been his dream for so long, it’s as if he finally woke up and it happened!  He and fellow server Sara Pitre were excited to be the first volunteer servers this Tuesday, September 11, on opening day. The kitchen will be operational two days a week for lunch, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and everyone is welcome.

Hot chili, warm welcome at WN Community Kitchen

Thérèse Clendenning, Louise Lagacé and Diane Ethier prepped and cooked the first meal for the new West Nipissing Community Kitchen this Tuesday, September 11. The Community Kitchen will be open every Tuesday and Thursday at the Sturgeon Falls Recreation Complex, and volunteers are lining up to help out. They are encouraging everyone to come. The meals are free, no questions asked. If you want to chip in, that’s okay too.

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by Isabel Mosseler
Tribune


On September 11, the West Nipissing Community Kitchen opened its doors for the first time at the Marcel Noël Hall in Sturgeon Falls, and ran like a well-oiled machine already. The kitchen volunteers gathered together at 8:15 a.m. to begin the food prep. By 11:00 they were done, having made enough chili to feed 50. At 11:15, the volunteer servers arrived, ready to serve up bowls with bread and celery sticks, along with a smile, starting at 11:30. Then there were volunteers for clean-up, everyone cheerfully completing their tasks like it was nothing new.

This is going to be repeated twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The West Nipissing Community Kitchen is open to everyone, a lovingly prepared lunch for those who need either a good meal or some company. The target market is anyone who is in need, whether hungry for food or hungry for some social contact. If you feel the urge, you are more than welcome to drop some money in the donation bin, but Linda Renaud-Lafantaisie, who has overseen the fruition of this community goal, says that everyone is welcome, no questions asked, no money necessary. She’s been overwhelmed by the people who have volunteered, and was excited over the first day. 

Louise Lagacé, Thérèse Clendenning and Diane Ethier arrived at 8:15 Tuesday morning, donned their kitchen gear, and got to work. Lagacé is a relatively new volunteer who found herself “inspired” when she heard about the community kitchen starting. She said she was having a lot of fun with her sister-chefs, that her main reason for volunteering as a cook was, in her words, “to pass it forward. That’s what this is about.”

Clendenning, who returned to West Nipissing last year as a retiree, thinks that volunteering is also great social networking. When asked why she decided to step forward, she said, “I used to volunteer in Brampton… I was born and raised here; I love it. I’m retired, I had nothing else to do and this is fun… I like to help, I love to cook, I like to bake and I missed this in Brampton. I used to cook for 50 men every Tuesday, a soccer team.” She said she also used to make soup on Fridays. And, for her, it’s also the people you meet volunteering. “Volunteers and dog people are nice people,” she laughed.


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