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    Teesdale Preparing Cutlery

    “I come in at 9:00 every morning. I set the tables. I do the cutlery. I make the coffees. 12:00 I’ll serve the lunch. I really enjoy it.”

    There is a lot of work that goes into serving a sit-down lunch to a crowd. A typical week of food programming at Teesdale is jam-packed. On Mondays the food truck from 2nd Harvest arrives and the staff unload it with the help of community volunteers. On Tuesdays, staff catch up on program operations. On Wednesdays Flavienne Martin and a number of volunteer cooks make a hot lunch, which is served by volunteers, and Michael Nyakundi runs the fresh produce market at the Warden Woods Firvalley site. On Thursdays the bagged lunch program operates. On Fridays a fresh food market is offered at the Teesdale site. All the while, staff provide clients with access to a computer and phone, information about housing, jobs and, self-care, workshops, clinics and personal support.  Staff see this as a “full service” program.  “We don’t just work in the lunch program, we’re multi-service. We wear different hats. We’re ambidextrous.”

    In addition to two full-time staff and a cook, there are also volunteer cooks and servers.  Flavienne Martin began volunteering at Warden Woods in 1997 before being offered the cooking job at 40 Teesdale. “Every week I do something different.  I decide the day before, I see what comes. If there is fresh veggies from the truck I will roast fresh vegetables.”  Margaret is currently the main server.  She is hard working and well liked, according to clients who tell us that at other programs you have to line up for your food.  “Margaret is a very good lady for serving.  She has nothing bad to say about nobody.  Everybody just dumps out their own garbage cause it’s a lot of work for her to clean.”

    Numbers fluctuate depending on the time of the month, “when cheques come in not that many people come in.  They’re out getting their groceries and stuff.”  But staff say that demand for the service has been steadily increasing. “More is needed to keep things afloat. These issues come back year after year.”

    Teesdale   Memory Archive