Who we are
What do we do?
The Rainbow Kitchen prepares and serves a hot lunch meal to 125-140 people a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year – no money charged, and no questions asked. An estimated 1,100+ individuals are served over 36,000 meals during the year.
Many guests have described this noon meal as their “food security”. But it is truly more than that.
It is a place of connection, belonging and where guests and volunteers (no matter how little or much their capabilities allow) are part of a community, where they feel worthy, feel useful, feel safe. When people walk through the door, they are greeted with a smile and offered assistance to ensure they feel comfortable and welcome.
Who do we serve? Guest Profile
The guests who come to the Rainbow Kitchen are interchangeable with the volunteers who come – there is no barrier. Our guests include street youth, seniors on low income, veterans, single parents and their young ones, families, the unemployed and underemployed, the working poor and individuals on social assistance or disability pensions. On school holidays and pro-d days, we have several school aged children as well.
Some of our guests are striving to live a life of mental wellness as well as a life of sobriety.
Our guests can come to Rainbow Kitchen for various reasons – hunger; loneliness; isolation; disconnection; curiosity; friendship. Regardless, Rainbow Kitchen is a place where anyone is welcome for a hot nutritious meal; to be acknowledged and respected; to regain self-respect and caring for others; to give back and help the person beside them.
Who by? Employee and Volunteer Profile
Although Rainbow Kitchen does have some paid staff, it would not be able to run if it were not for the 200+ volunteers!
Rainbow Kitchen has 3 paid positions; Executive Director, Director of Operations, and Custodian.
The Executive Director is a position fulfilled by one employee; The Director of Operations is a full time position split by two employees (Co-Directors); the custodian position is one position split between three employees.
None of the work that you see at the Rainbow Kitchen would be possible without the dedication and commitment of 200+ volunteers who show up week after week to plan meals, shop for groceries, pick up donated food, peel veggies, chop salads, build casseroles, set tables, serve meals, clear tables, wash dishes, and all the little and big jobs that need to get done.
Any amount of time that you can spare to help out at Rainbow Kitchen is valuable. Whether you’re able to come by every day, twice a week, or occasionally as your schedule allows, we appreciate your contribution. Rainbow Kitchen is a great place for anyone who is between jobs, healing from an illness or injury or looking for some work experience. Many of our regular volunteers are retired individuals. Rainbow Kitchen is a place where you can feel a part of the community and possibly learn a new skill set – not to mention all the friendships to be made. Join us!
Rainbow Kitchen is an inclusive space and there are many organizations and schools that regularly volunteer including Garth Homer Society, Beacon of Hope, Futures Club, Rotary Club, Lion’s Club, SMUS, UVic (and many more!).
At Rainbow Kitchen, we always enjoy having individuals, organizations, businesses and groups volunteer with us. Sometimes it is during our day time hours and sometimes it is during after hours.
Whether you are an individual or a group, If you are interested in volunteering be sure to check out our volunteer page.