There’s a smile on over 300 faces in Nelson after Ascension Lutheran Church recently launched, “Sharing Bread - A Community Together”.
This Ascension Lutheran Church program 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.
“It’s a win-win program for our community,” says Jean Aubin Gardiner, “People struggling during the pandemic get a break and local businesses get a hand too.”
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 program.
It didn’t stop the congregation from wanting to help others.
The idea for the “Sharing Bread” restaurant gift certificates program 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.
About a dozen locally owned Nelson restaurants are participating in the program. 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,” said Gardiner.
“We hope that through the ‘Sharing Bread’ program 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, in person “Youth Cooking Classes” quickly and successfully moved to an online format.
Youth aged 9 to 11years 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!" said instructor, Christina Esposito, “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.
Photo Caption: From left, Lor McDiarmid, Jean Aubin Gardiner, Len Fuss display the Restaurant Certificates sponsored by Ascension Lutheran Church through its Community Kitchen program. — Submitted photo