Jenna Domovich,left, who is job shadowing in the Bread of Life kitchen through North Island College and the centre’s new operations manager Lynda Wright stand in front the recently built office at the front of the Bread of Life. KARLY BLATS PHOTO

New manager at the Bread of Life hopes to ramp up volunteer base

Lynda Wright joined the centre in January as operations manager

The Bread of Life Society is serving up new opportunities for college students and first-time job applicants under direction of the new operations manager, Lynda Wright.

Recently the Bread of Life began a program with the BC Centre for Ability, hiring applicants through INEO for their first job experience.

In addition, the society is working with North Island College’s Employment Transitions Culinary Assistant Program.

“Kids with learning disabilities, they’re doing their job shadowing here,” Wright said. “We’re super excited about it.”

The Bread of Life is also now hosting practicum placements for the college’s Human Services Worker program.

“It’s a permanent practicum placement for the human services worker [program], which I think is amazing. It’s interacting with people at risk, people from all aspects of life, and then learning about non-profit society,” Wright said.

Wright joined the Bread of Life as operations manager in January with a list of goals and challenges from the board of directors.

First, she said, was the need to hire new kitchen staff, including a kitchen supervisor, and get weekend meals serving again, which was achieved by Feb. 10.

With weekend meals being offered again, there is a need for more volunteers.

“I need to re-establish our volunteer base. We have a few hardcore loyal volunteers but we need to build that up because the weekends are really desperate,” Wright said.

On average, the centre sees upwards of 50 people for breakfasts and 70 people for lunch. Wright said on weekends they’re serving up to 200 meals and even seeing a few children coming in to eat. She said more volunteers are needed to keep the weekend service running.

In addition to meals, the Bread of Life offers a medical clinic through Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) for people in the area who may not have easy access to other options around town.

“We house VIHA clinics on Monday and Wednesday, there’s nurses from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and then on Friday there’s a doctor as well. We have mental health nurses and physical health nurses plus a doctor,” Wright said. “I think it’s awesome because a lot of people who wouldn’t go to the doctor other ways do have access here.”

Another addition to the centre is a new office by the front door that was made possible through a grant from the Alberni Valley Community Foundation and many volunteers who helped build and paint it.

The centre also runs a food recovery program that utilizes gleaned food from grocery stores in town for their kitchen. Any excess perishable food that isn’t used quickly enough is redistributed to lunchtime guests. The program uses a volunteer driver and recovers one or two half-ton loads of food a day that would otherwise be thrown away.

Wright views the Bread of Life as “more than just a soup kitchen,” and said this is a great time in her life to be working at the centre.

“I wasn’t sure what I was going to do when I came to Port Alberni and I saw [the Bread of Life’s] ad and I thought, that sounds like something I can really immerse myself into,” she said. “It’s for the challenge, and to contribute to something bigger then yourself.”

Prior to moving to Port Alberni, Wright lived in Nanaimo and Campbell River where she ran a couple of small businesses, including a café.

karly.blats@vancouverislandfreedaily.com

Just Posted

By-election set for Beaufort and Cherry Creek areas

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District by-election will take place Apr. 6

ARTS AROUND: Port Alberni artists showcase a range of mediums

“Into the Forest” will feature everything from watercolours to quilting

Divers explore the deeps of Sproat Lake using vintage equipment

Heritage Hard Hat Divers will have a maritime heritage exhibit in Port Alberni

EDITORIAL: In face of tough week, Port Alberni first responders deserve our respect

Last week was a difficult week for first responders in the Alberni Valley…

Alberni group focuses on stigmatization as biggest barrier to opioid crisis

Community session planned to raise dialogue on opioid crisis response

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Teravainen’s 3 points lift Hurricanes to 5-2 win over Canucks

Vancouver heads into all-star break on losing note

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

Most Read