Scarborough soup kitchen crowdfunding for new space amid construction project concerns
GoFundMe campaign aims to raise $50,000 a year for new lease for 5n2 Soup Kitchens
A Scarborough soup kitchen says that after four years of serving the community, a planned construction project at its current location is prompting a search for a new one.
5n2 Kitchens has since launched a GoFundMe campaign this month with the hopes of raising $50,000 a year for three years to fund a new lease starting in January.
Seema David, founder and director of 5n2 Kitchens, says that since 2013, the soup kitchen has served over 800 meals weekly in high needs areas and that the demand for the soup kitchen is rising.
The meals provided by 5n2 Kitchens are prepared at one location, but are served and transported to six other locations in the neighbourhood, including locations run by organizations like the Salvation Army and Daily Bread Food Bank.
"Initially, we were serving all the lunches," David told CBC News, adding that was no longer possible because the number of locations they serve has increased.
'We fast realized we need larger funding'
The soup kitchen's current location was provided to them for free by Global Kingdom Ministries, the church that owns it, but David says it won't be available to them by the end of the year.
"There is a new project that the church is promoting now, it's a retirement condo project," said David. "They're going to redesign the layout of this property and they may need to work through this building to give their congregation access.
"I was told that they may have to do that down the line so I was just preparing, looking ahead and saying if we have to move out, I need to have enough time to look for another property."
Global Kingdom Ministries CEO Kern Kalideen, however, said "it was a misunderstanding" and that the soup kitchen is "not being evicted or put out."
He said there are plans for a seniors' residence and parking garage at some point in the future, and that the parking garage construction could affect the kitchen. But, Kalideen said, that's a few years down he road.
David said that they've been able to fund their means with private donors, but the donations will not cover a new lease.
"Right now, at present, we're running with small donations, people giving $50, $20," she said, noting she and her husband put in $100,000 of their own money to help start the soup kitchen. "But we fast realized we need larger funding."
David says she feels Scarborough is underserved and hopes she can continue to make a difference.
"This is my neighbourhood and I want to help my neighbours," she said. "So we thought we have to step in and do something for our neighbours because if we don't feed them, they don't have fully stomachs, they're not going to be able to... get out of their situations.
"So we want to feed them first. That's what we want to do."