NewsBreak26 with Vicki Hogarth and Lukas Kohler: May 21, 2024

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NewsBreak26 with Vicki Hogarth and Lukas Kohler: May 21, 2024

Shiretown Community Kitchen Celebrates Season's End with Empowering Trainees and Uniting Charlotte County 

Shiretown Community Services wrapped up a successful season with the final Community Kitchen lunch of the year on Friday in St. Andrews. Over 140 people from the community attended the event at the Anglican Parish Hall, marking the season's end of an initiative that has brought the community together every Friday for a meal. 

Community Kitchen has not only become a beloved social hub where neighbours can break bread together, but the program provides valuable training in food service for individuals facing various challenges to employment.

"We are employing people with barriers to employment," said Linda Walsh, one of the Directors of the Board of Shiretown Community Services. "They come in for a part of one day, and they're instructed on how to prepare the soups and do other things in the kitchen. And then on Friday, they all come back, and they heat it up, and they serve it, and they bus the tables, they wash the dishes, and the meal is free. The soups are the fruits of their labour, so to speak. So the soup is free. We do accept donations, and everyone who has barriers to employment who is in the program, they are paid. They've been paid by Working Stronger Together from the Province of New Brunswick, so everyone gets paid, and they just have a wonderful time."

Each week, the Community Kitchen offers a light homemade lunch, serving an average of 90 meals either dine-in, take-out, or delivery. In addition to the weekly meals, trainees have been preparing extra soup for Neighbourhood Works in St. Stephen, supporting the homeless community—a practice that will continue throughout the summer, thanks to generous donations.

Walsh said she's proud of the impact the program has had on the community, particularly in how it has set up many of the trainees for employment and academic opportunities.

"We're just delighted at the growth that we've seen from everyone," said Walsh. "Three of the trainees are expected to go on to post-secondary training. In the fall, two are going to community college. One is going to Fredericton, so we're really, really pleased that they are ready to take that move."

As the Community Kitchen takes a summer break, many of the trainees will continue honing their skills in local restaurants and service sectors, preparing to bring even more to the table when the program resumes in the fall.

Agostino MacNeil is working for the second summer in a row at Char and Chowder Restaurant on Water Street in St. Andrews.

"I came a long way from peeling potatoes and all that using a knife and stuff like that," said McNeil. "It even helped me get a job at Char and Chowder."

Friday's finale is not just the end of a season but a celebration of the power of community spirit to change lives, one bowl of soup at a time.

 

Paddlefest kickstarts summer in St. Andrews by the Sea

Paddlefest Music and Nature Festival returned to St. Andrews for the Victoria Day long weekend, offering four days of music, art, and outdoor adventures. This year's lineup featured Canadian talents like Jenn Grant and Boy Golden, alongside other local favourites and emerging artists.

The heart of Paddlefest was its Main Stage in the town square. La Patente had to get creative by going acoustic during a town-wide power outage on Sunday that lasted 20 minutes. 

A highlight of the festival was the Wharfbound Trail Run on Saturday. This challenging event, beginning on the beach by the wharf, offered both 19km and 11km courses. Although the run began in the sand, it transitioned to pavement and crossed the tidal bar to Minister's Island. The tide dictated the schedule, with runners required to complete the course by 5:00 p.m. to avoid being stranded on the island.

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Video Upload Date: May 22, 2024

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