PIT Stop Outreach Program – Celebrating 20 Years in 2017
Purpose: To provide a hot, nutritious, served meal to our guests each Sunday afternoon. Our guests include seniors, youths, families and adults, many who may be marginalized or street entrenched community members. We strive to reduce the impacts of poverty by providing food and support in a caring and safe environment.
Rick became the PIT Stop Program Co-ordinator in March 2015
6,637 meals were served in 2015 – on par with 2014. Twenty-two different teams served in 2015 – Steelworkers did Thanksgiving Sunday with 35 volunteers and $1000 donated and 231 guests – Christmas dinner was served by Rotary Daybreak and served 225 guests. Because of community/individual donations, our total Christmas Outreach program cost net $344 – Rotary Daybreak donation of $1090 covered the purchase of the new shelving unit, 2nd baker’s rack & trays, and numerous kitchen items – We continued to build on strong relationships with COBS Bread, Kamloops Food Bank and United Way.
PIT Stop has continued to add many new teams and volunteers.
Our guests express their appreciation with thanks and compliments continually at our meals. Our volunteers overwhelmingly have a positive and meaningful experience with PIT Stop. Many are returning veterans and many who are new, will come back. Whether or not it is spiritual significance that people find, without exception everyone who participates respects and cares that KUC is committed to this work.
This hot meal program serves a nutritious dinner at Kamloops United Church every Sunday afternoon year round and is mainly a volunteer driven program. The dinners are provided without charge.
Without question 2021 continued to be a challenging year for many of us in the central interior. Just when we thought we might be getting some breathing space through the vaccination process, Mother Nature threw a huge Omicron curveball affecting thousands of lives.
PIT Stop 2021 looked very much like it did for the better part of 2020. All of our meals were ‘take away’ only.
In addition, we have been able to continue to integrate providing items such as vitamins, footwear, clothing, toiletries, and much, much more as we have it. We also had three vaccination clinics where our Interior Health street nurses managed to provide vaccinations to many that would normally fall through the cracks. We are hopeful that the rest of 2022 will bring us the latitude to resume our sit down service and it will be welcome by not only the guests but by the volunteer teams as well.
The support that PIT Stop continues to get from our community is nothing short of astonishing. We estimate that approximately 550 individual volunteers helped with the program in 2021 – many, more than once. We had more inquiries from teams who wanted to do a dinner than there were Sundays available! Certainly a good problem to have.
Donations of cash and food items come from Kamloops United Church members, other local faith congregations, community organizations, businesses and individual members of the public. In 2021, our financial support was not only sizeable, but humbling in its genuineness. The impact that PIT Stop has in Kamloops is recognized and appreciated by so many. These dollars make our PIT Stop world go around for sure, and in 2021 we were able to make a significant capital improvement with the purchase of a failed refrigerator cooler, a new convection oven to add to the existing one, and new ‘hot boxes’ for our busier days. This equipment is so very much appreciated. Many people and businesses contributed in 2021 but we would like to specifically recognize United Way British Columbia / Thompson Nicola Cariboo for their commitment to PIT Stop.
Replacement items also come from the Kamloops United Thrift Shop.
PIT Stop receies donations “in-kind” for special events such as the annual PIT Stop Christmas dinner and party.
In the winter of 20/21, Kamloops Reach under the leadership of Lynne Borle added an impactful addition to what KUC does by providing a second weekly ‘take away’ meal on Mondays. In the current 21/22 winter, KR is doing it again but on Thursdays. Lynne has also taken on a support role to Rick at PIT Stop and is now a much appreciated employee of KUC. We are optimistic that in 2022 we will be able to once again have our guests come into the building for PIT Stop. If so, we will look to provide other services such as a foot care program, haircut days, name & photo registry, and more.
Kamloops Community Food Bank, Food Share Program
Cost reductions from local businesses, bulk purchasing, sale items, creative shopping.
Every Saturday evening unsold fresh bread is collected from Cobs Bakery and distributed at PIT Stop the following day.
Rotary Clubs of Kamloops Aberdeen Lions Club St. Paul’s Anglican Church
Kamloops Food Bank Cob’s Bread Bakery Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way
Community Living BC Interior Health – Street Nurses & Dietician
Kamloops Homelessness Action Plan Changing the Face of Poverty New Life Mission
Elizabeth Fry Society Kamloops YM/WCA
Many different teams have prepared and served the PIT Stop meals over the years. Teams have come from many of the Kamloops Rotary Clubs, Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, United Way, Thompson Rivers University, B.C. Ministry of Forests, Service Canada, Fulton & Co. Law Offices, Kamloops United Church, South West Community Church, Centre for Spiritual Living, Kamloops Unitarian Fellowship, Me to We school groups, and several teams comprised of groups of families and friends.
Rick is appreciative of our KUC community for providing steadfast and unconditional support of PIT Stop. We are not only extremely grateful for all the resources that this building and congregation provide, but we are very proud to be able to do this work. Many have had their spirits dampened over the last two years or so, but our community’s perseverance and compassion continues to shine through.
To contact Rick, the Co-ordinator of PIT Stop: firstname.lastname@example.org
2010 United Way Community Partnership Award, presented annually to an agency or group that demonstrates a willingness to partner with others in the community to provide an important service.