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Courtenay soup kitchen floor receives facelift

Comox Valley Community Foundation grant pays for renos to Fellowship Hall

This article was originally posted by the Comox Valley Record, Sun Sep 10th, 2017

St. George’s United Church has a new floor in its Fellowship Hall, the home of the Sonshine Lunch Club daily soup kitchen.

Thanks to a generous $10,000 grant from the Comox Valley Community Foundation, Sonshine Lunch Club Clients will be able to feel more at home and cared for.

The original Fellowship Hall was constructed nearly 70 years ago. The wooden floor was down to its final sanding, and beyond that the cost of replacement would have been significant. But more significantly, it made the space feel its age. The space feeds an average of 120 people Monday-Friday year-round. But it’s one thing to feed people. It’s another to do so in a space that makes them feel at home, and reflects their worth as human beings.

“We believe that each of the people we meet has an inherent dignity given to them by God,” said Rev. Ryan Slifka, the pastor of St. George’s. “This means not only helping people. It’s in treating them with the dignity and love they deserve. This includes the condition and esthetics of the space we host them in. They deserve to eat lunch in a space that makes them feel loved and valued. They deserve to feel at home.”

The floor was phase one of the renovations to make the space feel more like home. Phase 2 is the painting of the ceiling and the walls to brighten up the space, which is partially completed. Phase 3 is the replacement of chairs (which are also at least a half century old). The other phases are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.

“The floor, as part of an ongoing renovation project, has already made the space more welcoming to volunteers and clients alike,” said Slifka. “We are truly grateful to the Comox Valley Community Foundation for helping us serve some of our community’s most vulnerable people with dignity and grace.”