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St. Vincent’s Kitchen breaks ground on new home

St. Vincent’s Pallotti’s Kitchen is looking to improve accessibility at its new location, at 227 Simcoe Street South, near the YMCA and the Pinewood Centre. (Photo by Chris Jones)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

St. Vincent Pallotti’s Kitchen broke ground on their new home recently, and fundraising efforts for the construction are now in full force.

St. Vincent Pallotti’s Kitchen has been a part of the Oshawa community for 28 years, opening its doors in 1990. They serve hot meals to those in need, such as the homeless and low-income earners.

“It was started by two amazing people who saw a need in Oshawa where people didn’t have access to a hot meal,” says Reisha Prasad, director of fundraising for Durham Outlook, the organization that runs the kitchen.

“What we do is offer a nutritious meal at very low cost,” says Prasad. “Even if somebody doesn’t have enough money to purchase a low cost meal, we’ll still have them come into the kitchen to eat because everyone deserves a hot meal.”

Prasad further explained that St. Vincent’s serves more than 200 meals per day, and about approximately 52,000 meals in a year. More than 1.4 million meals have been served there since the doors opened.

The kitchen is currently located at 51 King Street East, but Prasad says they have outgrown their facilities and are looking to improve accessibility.

Prasad notes that the new building will only be one level, as opposed to the current building where there is a set of stairs which can cause accessibility issues.

Chiming in, Frank Lowe, a member of Outlook Durham’s board of directors, says, “The one level is for the old people like me.”

Their new location will be at 227 Simcoe Street South, near the YMCA and the Pinewood Centre.

“We found that the need for hot meals was here in this area particularly, which is why we chose it,” says Prasad.

Right now they are in the throws of their fundraising, and Prasad says they need to raise another $1.5 to $2 million in order to finish their new home.

Prasad says this is why they are “reaching out to our community members in Durham Region, and what we’re really looking for is help from our government, our city council members, and our community members in any way possible.”