A Fundraising Walk in Canada Helps Local Communities

Jade with Marty Jones, executive director of the Cloverdale Community Kitchen in Canada 

“When you start to tell people what we do, they just become captivated by it,”  says Marty Jones. Jones is executive director of the Cloverdale Community Kitchen (CCK) in a suburb of Surrey, a city in Canada’s British Columbia.

Since its founding in 2011, CCK has served meals to people who are experiencing homelessness and hunger. What started as a local meal program has expanded into a range of services that help some of the most vulnerable members of the community. More than 800 volunteers are involved in the effort. 

Each year, the CCK participates in Canada’s “Coldest Night of the Year” fundraising walk. The event raises money for charities that are serving people in need. This year’s walk took place on February 24. 

“We had almost 700 people walk for us and then dozens of volunteers,” Jones said. The walk, which has become a community event for the residents of Cloverdale, raised nearly $234,000 for the CCK. It is the second-highest amount of money raised in a community nationwide.

I had a chance to both walk in the event and interview other participants. Adele Groen, 10, who walked, also serves meals at the CCK. “We make dinner and dessert for people,” she said. “I help with the chopping and setting tables.”

Participant Riyah Frey, 15, explained why she, too, volunteers for the CCK. “I think it’s good for the community, and I like to help out however I can,” she said. “It’s a good use of my time.”


Adele Groen, 10, spoke with Jade about volunteering at the CCK. 


Money raised by the residents of Cloverdale will help fund the CCK’s meal-delivery programs, temporary shelters, nightly community meals, and “Mobile Meals” program.

“Mobile Meals delivers low-cost hot meals to seniors four nights a week,” Jones said. “I love the program because it really connects us with our seniors. For so many of them, the only person they interact with every day is that person bringing them the meal.”

This year’s funds will also go towards expanding the CCK. Currently, 800 families are registered for the food bank. “We know we’re hitting a certain amount of needs,” Jones said. “But we’re just scratching the surface of what we can do. Nothing happens without funds, so this will be huge.”


Participants enjoy a meal together after walking in Canada’s 11th annual “Coldest Night of the Year” fundraiser. 






Photos courtesy of the author