The Lotus Light Charity Kitchen, established in response to the pandemic, has been cooking and delivering over 30,000 free hot meals to homeless individuals and seniors living alone in SRO buildings for the past three years.
In the past year, as the pandemic subsided, many volunteers who had temporarily stopped working returned to their original jobs. To compensate for the shortage of kitchen staff, the kitchen team recruited a new generation of volunteers. Two young UBC graduates, Rick and Eric, were brought on the team and received guidance and training from the senior cooks, including Richard, a hotel chef with over thirty years of experience.
Cooking at the charity kitchen is much different from small-scale home cooking, so the two volunteers worked their way up from the basics: washing, chopping, cooking, and meal planning. After several months of dedicated effort and training, they received praise and recognition from the head chefs and several veteran kitchen volunteers. They have recently been trusted with the role of leading the service on several occasions, successfully preparing 200 meal boxes every week.
Prior to the establishment of the Lotus Light Charity Kitchen, Lotus Light had been operating the Hot Meal for Homeless program, sourcing food from upscale restaurants in Metro Vancouver and utilizing community kitchen at Oppenheimer Park with the help of volunteers to distribute 300 hot meals monthly to homeless in the community. However, when the pandemic erupted, most of the restaurants suspended their services, and community centre and kitchen at Oppenheimer Park closed to the public, effectively freezing the Lotus Light hot meal program. The President of Lotus Light Charity Society, the Venerable Master Lian Tzi, promptly decided to establish the Lotus Light Charity Emergency Kitchen to help the urgent need of the vulnerable group. This decision mobilized the entire organization, from planning renovations, acquiring kitchen equipment, to recruiting volunteers and having them acquire food safe certificates. The process was completed within a month and received support and sponsorship from various community partners, charitable organizations, and volunteers, who provided food ingredients, kitchen equipment, containers, and cutlery. The entire community came together to help make this endeavor a success.
Lotus Light Charity Society expresses gratitude to all the volunteers who have kept this food program running continuously for over a decade. Lotus Light welcomes any who would like to show support for their charitable work, and invite them to visit their website at www.vllcs.org, or contact them via phone at 604-685-5548 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lotus Light Charity Society is a registered government charity organization with registration number BN 14110-4893-RR0001.