Potluck Cafe Society supports the City of Vancouver’s Single-Item Use Reduction Strategy.
It was six months ago today that I became the Executive Director of Potluck. It seems a good point to check in with you and tell you a bit about what I am learning about Potluck’s community impact.
Potluck Café Society has employed people with barriers to employment for seventeen years. Many of you know about our catering business, which employs DTES residents with barriers to employment. We also run several community programs that get more healthy food into the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood while also creating employment.
Whether our staff have health issues, are homeless, or dealing with mental illness and addictions, Potluck offers them a decent wage, the supports they need to get back into the workforce and help with issues that come up that might prevent them from making it to work.
I know what this means for our staff because I grew up in poverty. Though my mother had part time work, money was scarce in our house- the economy in our town was bad and she also struggled with demons that can afflict people who grow up in violence and abuse.
I wish there had been a Potluck for my mother. There were many times that some help was needed. There were many times that my mother stumbled, before she got back up and tried again.
Poverty is not just a line in the sand that a person steps across. It takes time to heal. It takes support to regain the sense of self that poverty takes away from a person.
Potluck’s supportive environment provides that time and support. A few weeks ago, Brad, a new dishwasher in our kitchen, came in on his day off to let us know he’d lost his mom. They’d been close, and he needed to take some time to go back home. The very day he came back to town, he came by the café. He wasn’t scheduled to work; he just wanted to sit down and have a coffee. He told me he came to Potluck because everyone is so friendly and positive and he just needed that lift. I know what he’s talking about. I feel it every day I work here.
If you haven’t had a chance to come by Potluck for a lift, we’d love to see you.
And if you feel certain of Potluck’s impact, if you agree that patience and time are part of this work, I’d ask you to support our work by signing up as a monthly donor. Even a $10 monthly donation can help us lift more people in our community.
Potluck Café Society and Jefferson Steele Partners at Richardson GMP invite you to join us in supporting the Downtown Eastside as a sponsor of our 13th annual Barney Bentall & the Cariboo Express fundraising concert which will take place LIVE in Vancouver Saturday, November 24th, 2018 at the Vogue Theatre.
In addition to the benefits of traditional sponsorship, your Express sponsorship directly supports Potluck’s community mission to transform lives by creating jobs with training and increasing access to healthy food for people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
We hope you’ll show your support for Potluck and the DTES community.
Contact Potluck’s Executive Director, Trish Kelly (778.919.6820 or trish @ potluckcatering.com) to discuss joining our community of supporters.
When Dwight Jefferson and Tyler Steele from Jefferson | Steele Partners at Richardson GMP came on board as Presenting Sponsor of Vancouver’s Barney Bentall & the Cariboo Express show, the decision was an easy one.
For them, there was a deeply personal connection to the Downtown Eastside community.
Trish will assume her role starting November 6th 2017
After an extensive search, Potluck Café Society is pleased to announce the hiring of Trish Kelly as Executive Director. Trish will be joining the Potluck team on November 6th 2017 and has familiarity with Potluck’s community programs through her work with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and the Vancouver Food Policy Council.
“We are thrilled that Trish is joining the Potluck team,” said Dennis Green, Co-Board Chair, Potluck Café Society. “She brings a wealth of experience, skills, and knowledge of the issues facing residents of the Downtown Eastside and a strong connection to the community. We are looking forward to the contributions she will make to build on the Potluck legacy and increase the impact our programs have in the future.”
Prior to joining Potluck, Trish has been the Community Food Hub Director at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank for the last two years. She joined the GVFB after a twenty year career in the natural foods industry where she helped companies operationalize their good intentions. She spent eight years on the Vancouver Food Policy Council, and helped the Park Board develop its own Local Food Action Plan.
Raised by her Metis mom, Trish grew up in a family that accessed charitable food. Her early experience of poverty motivates her to fight for a just and sustainable food system.
Outside of work, Trish plays bass guitar in a band, and watches a countless number of movies.
We are thrilled to welcome Trish to the Potluck team and encourage you to welcome her as well!
"I am very excited to be joining Potluck. Potluck is an organization I have long admired for it's commitment to community and collaboration." – Trish Kelly
Welcome to the new potluckcatering.org!