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Kiwanis of Chilliwack step forward to serve Saturday Manna

The call went out a while ago for Chilliwack churches to help with providing Saturday Manna.

It's a free lunch program serving the downtown needy that's had some trouble finding volunteer support recently.

Now the Kiwanis of Chilliwack are stepping up to take over the soup ladling duties once a month.

Several churches used to provide the Saturday Manna soup kitchen on a rotating basis in Chilliwack, but due to retirement and volunteer attrition, it came down to the volunteers with United Church as the only group left making soup and sandwiches for the down and out.

Then came the local Kiwanis, whose charity work focuses on helping children.

"We looked at the Saturday Mann program as a club, and decided it was something we could do," said Paul Rogers, incoming president of the Kiwanis of Chilliwack.

The first Manna lunch to be served by Kiwanis volunteers is set for noon on Aug. 9 at the United Church kitchen at Yale Road and Spadina Avenue.

"Service clubs, like ours exist to serve the community," he said.

He went to Saturday Manna at the United Church recently to see how it was done.

"I saw hungry people with children. These are people who have obviously had a tough time."

There were only few families who showed up for Saturday Manna when he was there.

"We hope there will be more coming once we start," said Rogers.

Typically there can be as many as 100 people coming for lunch.

Volunteers with the Kiwanis, and United Church, said they are still hoping and counting on other church groups and charities, to step forward and help fill in the other Saturdays of the month.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/chwkjourno

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