Thanks to the expert chefs at the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries and the help of local realtors, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents didn’t go without on Thanksgiving Day.
Monday was the day for the 20th Real Thanksgiving Meal, served up by volunteers at St. Patrick’s Church.
“A big thank-you to all the volunteers who helped,” said ReMax realtor Jeff Weaver.
The Salvation Army was crucial to the project.
The big kitchen cooked up 300 meals of roast turkey, mashed potatoes, veggies and stuffing and brought them over to the church, where the realtors and family and friends took over and served up the good food to whoever walked through the doors.
More than 90 kilograms of turkey were prepared along with 70 kilograms of potatoes. People of all ages helped out.
Maple Ridge secondary baked 420 dinner rolls and the kids at Thomas Haney secondary made 35 dozen pumpkin tarts, and Tim Horton’s Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows supplied the coffee.
The Laity Pumpkin Patch donated dozens of the orange gourds so people could bring them home.
It’s not known exactly how many people showed up, but attendance was down from previous years, possibly because of the nice weather, Weaver said.
Weaver, along with realtor Logan Eskesen from Keller Williams Elite, coordinated the meal this year, while Ken and Jane Ambrose brought in bunches of new socks and mittens for anyone who needed them.
“All the local real estate offices contribute to make this happen,” Weaver said.
A committee of realtors in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows also raise money for Cythera House or help out people in tough spots, he added.
“We all volunteer our time to get this altogether and it’s our day to make sure there’s a warm meal.”
Usually, it takes till about 9 p.m. to clean up afterwards, but this year, things were cleaned up at 7 p.m.
“Just a big thank you to everyone who came and participated and everyone who got a meal.”
Homelessness Action Week
It started off with a hot turkey dinner at St. Patrick’s Church in downtown Maple Ridge on Thanksgiving Day, Monday.
This week, a few other follow-up events will focus on the fact that it’s Homelessness Action Week in Metro Vancouver.
This Thursday, there will be a Food Truck Festival in Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Big Red’s Poutine, Hunger Management and Wings food trucks will all be there offering meals at $10 a plate in honour of World Food Day.
Clients from the temporary homeless shelter on Lougheed Highway and the shelter at the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries will be provided one meal ticket as well.
Later that night at 7 p.m., in Maple Ridge council chambers, people can take in a movie about homelessness titled “Us and Them.”
Both shelters are having other events for the residents during the week.
According to the Stop Homelessness website, Homelessness Action Week is an opportunity to get involved in activities in the community. The website is a project of Metro Vancouver’s regional homelessness group.
“Through spreading the word about homelessness action through education, advocacy, and social media activity, the hope is to raise awareness of this very important subject which affects all our communities.”