Daisy Orser, owner of Root Cellar Village Green Grocer, says the 2017 campaign for the Rainbow Kitchen based in Esquimalt raised a total of $13,801.56 dollars. Black Press File

Saanich store raises almost $14,000 for Rainbow Kitchen

A Saanich grocery store helped raise almost $14,000 for a community kitchen.

Root Cellar Village Green Grocer based on McKenzie Avenue announced that its 2017 campaign for the Rainbow Kitchen based in Esquimalt raised a total of $13,801.56.

Running from Dec. 14-20, the fundraiser offered all customers and staff the opportunity to donate at the tills or directly to Rainbow Kitchen volunteers, who were on site sharing hot drinks and treats, as well as information about the organization.

The grocery store then matched all donations dollar for dollar to reach the total, exceeding last year’s by $1,300 dollars.

The fundraising campaign, now its fifth year, has so far raised over $47,000 for the kitchen based in Esquimalt United Church.

The second largest community kitchen of its kind in Greater Victoria, the Rainbow Kitchen serves more than 36,000 hot meals each year for less than $2 each. With only one paid full time staff position, it relies heavily on its 250 volunteers and community donations since it opened in 2001.

Jennifer Hawes, a community kitchen board member, called the fundraiser one of most important contributors to the annual operating costs of the kitchen on top of ongoing donations from Root Cellar. Over the past five years, the store has donated over 500 pounds of perishable food every week, the only grocery retailer to support the kitchen in this way, said Hawes.

“Our ongoing partnership means that we can continue to provide healthy nutritious lunches for up to 150 people every week day, and that’s a wonderful gift that extends far past the holiday season,” she said.

“We are honoured to help feed our community and contribute to such a worthwhile non-profit organization,” said Daisy Orser, Root Cellar owner, who sees her partnership with the kitchen as part of an on-going effort to build a sustainable food network.

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