The kitchen is the heart of the home. . . well, in our case it’s the ­Community Centre

›› Shonna Bell

Each week, approximately 400 meals are made out of the Fernwood Community Centre kitchen. Patrick Gleeson, our chef, picks up a minimum of 6 boxes of ­produce from the Mustard Seed via the Food Share Network’s Food Rescue ­Project. He then processes the donations (along with ­donations from ColdStar Solutions, ­supplies from the Good Food Box, and other purchases) into the amazing meals that I hope you have had the chance to enjoy.

In a typical day, the kitchen provides snacks for 105 children, and lunches for 45.

On Wednesdays, they pull off these snacks and lunches plus over 20 lunches for the Good Food Box volunteers, 10+ meals for Community Programs, and meals for over 80 for the Fernwood ­Family ­Dinner. Let me do the math on that. . . on Wednesdays 155 full meals are provided through the Fernwood Community ­Centre kitchen.

One thing that not a lot of people know is that Patrick has clients who come to him directly for food. These are not people ­connected to the Centre through other programs. Patrick always has his door open and he has established a network of people in the community who he provides food for.

To me, there is something so home kitchen about that. Food is a resource that we have been able to provide to the ­neighbourhood and we couldn’t do that without Patrick and Dylan in the kitchen.