L-R: Lor McDiarmid, Jean Aubin Gardiner, Len Fuss with restaurant certificates sponsored by Ascension Lutheran Church through its Community Kitchen programme. Photo submitted

L-R: Lor McDiarmid, Jean Aubin Gardiner, Len Fuss with restaurant certificates sponsored by Ascension Lutheran Church through its Community Kitchen programme. Photo submitted

Ascension Lutheran Church, Nelson restaurants provide meals to people in need

More than 300 certificates for $20 have been handed out

Submitted by Ascension Lutheran Church

There’s a smile on over 300 faces in Nelson as Ascension Lutheran Church launches Sharing Bread – A Community Together.

This programme opens the door to local restaurants for people who need a bit of extra caring. More than 300 certificates for $20 have been given out in Nelson to offer both respite and an opportunity to celebrate!

Some months ago, Ascension Lutheran’s Community Kitchen received grant monies to provide a weekly meal to the community.Unfortunately, COVID-19 put a hold on that programme, but it didn’t stop the congregation from wanting to help others.

The idea for the Sharing Bread restaurant gift certificates programme was brought forward.The granting organizations were approached and all approved the change in the use of funds to this novel idea that would assist our greater community on many levels.

“It’s a win-win programme for our community,” says Jean Aubin Gardiner, “People struggling during the pandemic get a break and local businesses get a hand too.”

About a dozen locally owned Nelson restaurants are participating in the programme.All of the restaurants have an eat-in or a take-out option, alternatives that give options during the pandemic.

It was important to the organizing committee at Ascension Lutheran that patrons with certificates had a choice of restaurants.

“Eating at a restaurant or taking out a meal is a common event for many of us, but some of our neighbours rarely have this privilege,” adds Gardiner.“We hope that through the Sharing Bread programme many people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go out for dinner will have a carefree, joyful meal.”

The restaurant certificate program is one of several programs offered through Ascension Lutheran’s Rosemont Community Kitchen. With the onset of COVID-19, the in-person Youth Cooking Classes quickly and successfully moved to an online format. Youth aged nine to 11 years gather weekly for six-to-eight sessions as a small class on a Zoom online platform.

Families are given an ingredients list a week ahead and during the class their young person is guided to producing healthy plant based food items that the family can then enjoy at dinner.

“It’s very rewarding to see the youth proud of the meal they’ve assembled, and then their families enjoy the nutritious, tasty dish they created!” says instructor, Christina Esposto, “It’s an empowering thing to be able to cook a meal.”

A secondary fun class class for adults offered online through the Community Kitchen is a Learn to Cook class.A single class is offered on request to assist individuals or a small group to learn to make a specific item.During the pandemic, several classes on “How to bake bread,” have been held online through this program.

More information on Ascension’s Community Kitchen Youth Cooking Classes and other programs available can be found at ascensionlutheranchurch.ca .Currently, all online programming is offered to the community without charge, with an optional donation.