Qualico donates $10,000 to Cloverdale Community Kitchen

The Cloverdale Community Kitchen received a large donation on November 2.

Qualico, a real estate development company, donated $10,000 to the kitchen for its Mobile Meals program.

Qualico has offices in Western Canada and the United States and markets itself as an “integrated real estate company.” Its British Columbia regional headquarters is in Cloverdale.

“Our need has increased as we take over the White Rock Meals on Wheels program,” explained Matthew Campbell, manager of the Cloverdale Community Kitchen (CCK). “And Qualico heard that we were doing this and there was a huge need to be able to ensure that our mobile meals program could expand to cover the White Rock area.”

Campbell said one of Qualico’s employees, Kamal Khinda, arrived on November 4 and surprised Campbell with a check for ten thousand dollars.

“We were just blown away,” he said. “So grateful to Qualico for donating the money, but also to them for volunteering with us as well.”

Campbell said Qualico also sends employees from its Cloverdale office to the kitchen every Wednesday to deliver meals to seniors through the Mobile Meals program.

“It’s amazing to get this love and support from the community,” said Mandeep Kooner, Director of Mobile Meals at CCK. “We have struggled to find volunteers and donors, but the community continues to step up.

Kooner said the $10,000 will help with kitchen upgrades, such as new ovens and other needs.

“As we develop and grow, our capacity must also increase,” Kooner explained. “It’s a big step towards that.”

Qualico also encourages its employees to volunteer at the community kitchen. Two Fridays a month, employees come to spend several hours helping to prepare food for the Mobile Meals.

On November 4, four employees were in the kitchen preparing cookies and other desserts. Employees said Qualico is doing everything possible to encourage its workers to help.

“They say, ‘Go help the community,’ and they remove all the barriers,” Kevin Woodman said. “It’s such a good company, they cover our salaries for the day, so we really have no excuse not to come and help.”

Siya Moallef spent the day baking hundreds of cookies. They will enter next week’s Mobile Meals deliveries.

“I try to go down once a month,” Moallef said. “Anything I can integrate; we try to help as much as we can. Everyone in the company is encouraged to help.

Employees Wayne Hudak and Schvaun Fryer were also on hand to cook and prepare meals.

Campbell added that the Mobile Meals program still depends on donations to survive. He said they charge seniors $6 per meal, but with overhead, their cost is closer to $14.

“Every time we deliver a meal, we subsidize it,” Campbell said. “So when individuals come in and companies come in to donate like this, it makes a huge difference to us.”

He said on Nov. 1, an 82-year-old man from White Rock walked into the kitchen and dropped off a check for $5,000.

“He read in the Peace Arch News that we support the White Rock Meals on Wheels program, so he dropped a check and said, ‘One day I may need this service, so I want give back while I still can. ‘

“So we are very grateful to the local newspapers that help spread the story.”

Kooner added that if anyone is considering volunteering or has questions about it, they can contact them by phone or email.

The Cloverdale Community Kitchen can be accessed online by visiting mycck.ca. Kooner can be reached at 778-617-3000, ext. 211, by email at [email protected] The community kitchen is located at 5337 180 Street.

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Margie D. Carlisle