Kitchen goods needed for Calgarians leaving homelessness

Doing a kitchen purge and have excess cookware, pots, pans, knives, etc. and not sure what to do with all of it? Don’t throw them out because they could help a Calgarian escaping homelessness and get you a discount at a housewares retailer.

'Cookware is one of those essential things,' says Kala Ortwein of the Drop-In Centre

A Calgary retailer is collecting donated kitchenware for people leaving homelessness. (Fruiticana)

Doing a kitchen purge and have excess cookware, pots, pans, knives, etc. and not sure what to do with all of it?

Don't throw them out because they could help a Calgarian escaping homelessness and get you a discount at a housewares retailer.

Hutch Kitchen wants your gently used pots, pans, utensils, cutlery and knive sets and they will pay you, in the form of a credit worth up to $50 in its store. It's called Fill the Hutch, and the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre (DI) will receive those donations to people in need.

"Moving forward, the Calgary Drop-In Centre is becoming housing-focused. We are well positioned to become the most effective housing-focused shelter in North America. Part of that is ensuring we can help folks find housing, but a house is more than just a house. You need things for inside it," Kala Ortwein told The Homestretch.

"We have a free goods program run through our donations centre. We have furniture, clothing, household goods. We are always grateful and looking for used donations in the community to help with that program."

'It is a huge need'

Ortwein is the communications manager at the DI. She says kitchen basics are essential for someone setting up a new home but aren't always front of mind for people making donations.

"If we think of having to move even from one house to another one where we have all of this stuff, there is always an opportunity to go through it and think, 'Maybe I want something new, maybe this is something I don't need anymore,'" Ortwein said.

"If you are living in shelter and have absolutely nothing, cookware is one of those essential things to make sure you can cook nutritious food at home. It is a huge need."

Gently used, please

The marketing co-ordinator for Hutch Kitchen says it can be about ticking two boxes at the same time.

"If you are going to walk into a retail store and purchase a set of pots and pans or any sort of cookware, why not at the same time give back to the community as well and feel good about that purchase and give back to an organization that is doing so many great things to support the community and the people involved that really need it," Dustin Olson said.

Ortwein said the goal is "gently used."

"We don't need anything fancy or expensive or anything like that. We will gratefully take anything, but if you were going to throw it away because it's not usable, then it's probably not going to be usable for anyone else," she said.

If you're anything like the Homestretch's traffic maven Jenny Howe, you've looked at your pots and pans recently and perhaps wished for an upgrade. The Calgary Drop-In Centre has paired up with local company Hutch Kitchen to let you help them help you. The D.I. wants you to bring your gently used cookware to Hutch Kitchen and for your donation Hutch Kitchen will give you a $20 credit to spend in its store. 3:12

With files from The Homestretch.