Elder’s Gathering Place

The Elder’s Gathering place is a grassroots initiative created by Skundaal (Bernie Williams) – Haida Nation, and Dan Wallace – Lekwaiktaich & Haida Nations.  Our goal is to utilize Skundaal & Dan’s art studio at the Sacred Circle located at 33 Cordova St. W as a gathering place for Elders.  Our main concerns are that elders living in and around Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) are not having their daily nutritional requirements met for many reasons.  Poverty is the main reason, but this is also exacerbated by elder abuse, accessibility issues and traditional food items being replaced by processed foods that are unhealthy. We plan to not only feed elders, but also to build community by facilitating an all nations drum circle as well as other cultural activities.
At first, our priority will be to take care of indigenous elders by gaining access to and redistributing traditional foods in addition to organic fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Once we have built up our capacity the “Elders’ gathering place” will be able to serve all elders regardless of their ethnic backgrounds.
Our focus at this time is getting a kitchen and dining space set up so that we can cook and serve food for elders on a monthly basis. Considering that there are ample services, dinners and give aways during December, ideally our first “Elders’ Feast & Give Away” would be in mid January so that we can help subsidize elders’ food needs between cheque issue dates.
We anticipate that once we are set up, we will have enough wild and fresh food donations to preserve and stock our shelves with to have a pantry full of healthy organic foods.  We have already received some donations of clothing, small coffee machine, small freezer, an electric kettle and one hot plate.  We will need much more before we can get started though.
The following list of items are needed to begin this project:
Full size stove x 2 (New or used approx $300 each)
Full size Fridge     (New or used approx $250)
Cooking Utensils   (New or used approx $200)
Pots/Pans/Baking Sheets  (New $200 or used)
Regular Canner  (New $50 or used)
Pressure Canner  (New $100 or used)
Canning Supplies  (New or used)
Folding Tables x 10  (New or used $50-$100 each)
Folding Chairs x 60   (New $15 each or used)
Table Cloths x 10  (New $10 each or used)
Wash cloths  (New $10 or used)
%100 Biodegradable Soap/cleaners ($20 each bulk size)
Baking Soda  (for cooking & cleaning $15 each bulk size)
Cooking Oil        (Grapeseed Oil, Coconut or other healthy Oils $20-$30 bulk size)
Whole wheat Organic Flour or other Organic Flours.
Organic Coffee ($9lb @ wholesale price for Cafe Justicia supports indigenous coffee co-ops in Guatemala)
Organic Teas  ($5-$10 per box or bulk size)
Coffee Filters ($5 each box)
Large Coffee Urn ($200 New or used)
Large Coffee Filters ($30)
Coffee cups (new or used)
Gas Cards x 20 ($20,$50 or $100)
We are also looking for volunteers to help with pick up & delivery of donated items.
Please contact me by phone or email if you are able to contribute in any way.
Shannon Hecker

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