Sparkling new kitchen for CAB

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier Stanstead

Staff mem­bers and Board mem­bers of the CAB RH Rediker volun- teer cen­tre looked happy to be show­ing off their new kitchen last Fri­day, and rightly so. For a lit­tle un­der $50,000, and with the help of some ded­i­cated vol­un­teers like Board pres­i­dent Re­nald De­mers and Board mem­ber and mayor of Og­den, Joe Stairs, the cen­tre’s kitchen has been trans­formed into a proper, in­dus­trial kitchen, now ready to han­dle the

cen­tre’s grow­ing de­mand for Meals on Wheels. Re­quests for meals have been in­creas­ing by about 1000 meals a year.

“Be­fore we couldn’t cool the meals down fast enough; now we have a fridge just for cool­ing down the meals. Jovette used to have to cook turkeys overnight but this new com­mer­cial convection oven will cook a turkey in an hour and a half,” ex­plained CAB di­rec­tor My­lene Labonté on a tour of the kitchen and its sparkling, stain­less steel ap­pli­ances and coun­ter­tops. “We couldn’t have done it with­out the help of Mr. De­mers and Mr. Stairs who spent hun­dreds of hours work­ing on the project,” added Ms. Labonté.

“The new pantry is es­pe­cially won­der­ful,” said head chef Jovette Hig­gins who has been cook­ing at the CAB for seven­teen years. “Be­fore we had so much food stored in ev­ery room, some even in the hall closet; now it’s all to­gether. We cook on av­er­age thirty to thirty-five meals a day and we cook for our groups.”

“The first thing we had to do was make this door­way wide enough for the new ap­pli­ances. We added a wall, there is all new wiring, and we moved the elec­tric box up­stairs so our cooks wouldn’t have to run down­stairs ev­ery time a breaker went off. Rona Fluet helped us to in­stall this big oven,” said Mr. De­mers about the convection oven that weighs 560 pounds. Mr. De­mers also showed me mini kitchens he craftily in­stalled in the Cen­tre’s con­fer­ence room and staffroom from left- over cup­boards and sinks, let­ting noth­ing go to waste. He fin­ished by point­ing out his wife sit­ting among the vol­un­teers and dig­ni­taries from the com­mu­nity who were at­tend­ing the kitchen’s of­fi­cial open­ing. “I have lots of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for my wife, Joyce, who never com­plained about me do­ing so many hours here, some­times even work­ing on Sun­day,” he said thank­fully.

Fund­ing for this im­por­tant com­mu­nity project was pro­vided by the Mem­phrem­a­gog MRC Pacte Ru­ral pro­gram ($20,000); the Caisse Desjardins de Stanstead ($5000); the town of Stanstead ($1000); the town of Og­den ($500); gov­ern­ment min­istries, pri­vate and com­mer­cial donors.

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

Bang­ing on new pots at the of­fi­cial open­ing of the CAB RH Rediker’s ren­o­vated kitchen were (l. to r.) CAB Board pres­i­dent Re­nald De­mers, head cook Jovette Hig­gins, CAB Board mem­ber and Og­den mayor Joe Stairs, Jean Des­ruis­seaux rep­re­sent­ing the Caisse Desjardins de Stanstead, and coun­cil­lor Paul Stu­art rep­re­sent­ing the town of Stanstead.

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

To the right of these CAB di­rec­tors and cooks is the new pantry that the cooks are thrilled with.

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