Chili competitors are members of local unions, using secret recipes in their bid for the Golden Bean Award trophy. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Inaugural fight for the Golden Bean Award has unions feeding community

‘Labour of Love’ event at Our Place provides warm food and clothes to Greater Victoria’s vulnerable

Some friendly competition was dished up at Our Place Saturday with a chili cook-off and a winter clothing drive.

A lineup of luscious legumes faced off in the inaugural “Labour of Love” event co-hosted by United Way Greater Victoria Labour Committee and the Victoria Labour Council.

In addition to the cook-off, the event provided a chili lunch for up to 500 of Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable, as well as access to donations from a blanket and winter weather clothing drive.

Chili competitors were members of local unions, using secret recipes in their bid for the Golden Bean Award trophy.

“Volunteers and contributors here today represent 16 local unions and organizations each with a commitment to community, social justice and challenging impacts of poverty and homelessness in our community,” said Darlene Gallant, Secretary, Victoria Labour Council. “This event is to help ward off some of the impacts of this cold and wet season.”

The chili cook-off was judged by a panel made up of Darlene Gallant, Victoria Labour Council; Le-Ann Dolan, Our Place Society; and Stephen Portman, Together Against Poverty Society.

“I’m really proud to be part of this Labour of Love. The labour movement and the United Way share a common goal of ensuring workers and their families have access to life-changing social services across communities,” said Mark Breslauer, Executive Director, United Way Greater Victoria.

RELATED: Hundreds of gifts go out to Victoria’s Our Place patrons

On any given night in Greater Victoria, there are more than 1,500 people experiencing homelessness.

Our Place provides over 1,200 meals per day, hot showers, education, job skills, free clothing, counseling and outreach services to Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable. It also has 135 transitional housing units and 60 overnight shelter mats.

Individuals and businesses provide the majority of financial support for its programs and services.

United Way Greater Victoria ‘unites’ the generosity of people – business, labour, government and individual donors – with the skills, knowledge and expertise in the community to help those in need, providing multi-year funding to a strong and stable network of programs and services addressing emerging and immediate needs.

RELATED: Homeless Action Week: Our Place Society asking for blankets, sleeping bags


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

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