BY IAN MCBRIDE
A vision that had been dreamt about for decades was finally realized with the grand opening of the Community Support Connections – Meals on Wheels and More Dream Kitchen.
The Waterloo Region charity provides a range of supports and services that allow seniors and adults with disabilities to live at home with independence and dignity. The organization’s values are compassion, respect, dignity, integrity, community and courage.
On Oct. 23, over 200 residents of the Kitchener-Waterloo community came out to celebrate the grand opening of the Meals on Wheels Dream Kitchen located at 61 Woolwich St. N. in Breslau. They were fortunate enough to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the new space, and had the opportunity to sample some fine cuisine provided by the chefs.
Head chef Paula Ross and sous chef Tara Diletzoy were busy preparing food while people toured the kitchen and tasted various goodies such as pulled pork sliders and baked Alaska.
The idea for the Dream Kitchen has been percolating since the early years of the Meals on Wheels program.
The organization’s resource development lead, Rosalind Horne, discussed the long-awaited dream that finally came true.
“Having our own kitchen has really honestly been a 30-year dream of the local Meals on Wheels program. But just in the last couple of years we made it a strategic priority for the organization,” she said.
Partway through the event, Veronica Strauss, chair of the board, spoke to the crowd about the importance of the community in connection with Meals on Wheels, and the benefits of the Dream Kitchen.
Longtime Meals on Wheels volunteer May Hicks had the honour of cutting a ceremonial ribbon, which signified that the kitchen was officially open. Hicks has volunteered with the program since its inception in 1974.
Dale Howatt, the executive director, talked about the long-term benefits of the Dream Kitchen and how it felt to see a huge crowd at the opening.
“The Dream Kitchen gives us greater value and flexibility. It allows us to adapt to the needs of clients and their personal circumstances. It was tremendously gratifying to see such a huge turnout at the grand opening,” she said.