Qualicum Beach Council honors community volunteers for exceeding expectations – Parksville Qualicum Beach News
St. Stephen’s Community Meals Program was honored at the Town of Qualicum Beach Volunteer Appreciation Reception held at the Qualicum Beach Civic Center on August 25th.
The winners received the Above and Beyond Volunteer Award for their outstanding dedication to those in need throughout the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.
They were chosen by the board and the staff.
Every week, rain or shine, those in need of a free meal and a kind word find the doors of St. Stephens Church open. Meals are freshly prepared with quality local ingredients that provide not only nutrition but also companionship — the program’s motto being, “Come for a meal, stay for the friendship.
The program has been around for over 15 years, and even thanks to COVID, it has provided take-out meal service. Now back to their normal Thursday lunch schedule, they serve between 30 and 50 people each week in person, in addition to providing an additional 70 sack lunches that social workers bring to people living in isolated rural areas.
They are also delighted to resume their monthly hot evening meal which pre-COVID attracted over 200 people, many of whom were seniors in need of socializing and simple human contact.
In addition to providing meals, the program offers social workers vital opportunities to provide in-person services and specialist support that would otherwise be difficult to arrange. The program also supports the KSS school lunch program both financially and with volunteer services.
Council, on behalf of the Qualicum Beach community, expressed their sincere thanks.
“The Volunteer Appreciation Reception is our opportunity to express our appreciation to the many volunteers who dedicate hours, days, months and even years to improving the Qualicum Beach community,” the board said.
Guests were also encouraged in this Year of the Garden to “continue to grow our community together. Alone we can do so little: together we can do so much.
The volunteer groups and committee members honored this year are listed on the 2022 Volunteer Appreciation Recipients Award displayed in the lobby of City Hall, as well as on the Above and Beyond Volunteer Award plaque.
— NEWS staff, submitted
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