To make a difference in one child’s life is all the motivation that Major Ed Dean needs for organizing a Salvation Army feeding service.
How about helping as many as 230 children?
On Friday, that was the number he had in mind when he arrived early at the Maple Street community church.
To help him were four volunteers: Cornelius and Heidi Beveridge, Dale Groves, and Phyllis Henderson.
The challenge was to prepare lunch for students and staff at Sidney Street School by the 11.45am deadline.
On the menu were sausages, pancakes, syrup and fruit cups.
Individuals in the community had provided four cases of sausages, said Major Ed, while Cypress Wholesale Foods were to thank for the four bags of pancake mix and two cases of syrup.
“We are very grateful to Cypress Wholesale Foods for their sponsorship,” said Major Ed.
It was The Salvation Army who bought the 12 cases of fruit cups.
Kitchen duties were divided between Major Ed, Groves and Henderson, who is recovering from a hip injury.
The News-Times arrived at about 11am to find Groves cooking pancakes, Major Ed preparing the pancake mix, and Henderson washing up and helping where needed.
In the main room outside the kitchen, the Beveridges did the packaging. It resembled a factory line production, with cartons spread out on tables, along with a stack of bags and boxes.
Each meal consisted of two sausages, two pancakes, syrup, and a fruit cup. That amounted to more than 450 sausages and pancakes.
As the clock ticked towards the deadline, the loading began: boxes were placed in the back of the Salvation Army emergency response unit.
It took two runs for the meals to be transported to Sidney Street School. Rob Stewart, the principal, helped carry the boxes inside.
“It is a pleasure to be able to do this for the school,” said Major Ed. “It brings people together. We learn how to work with each other. The good thing is that everybody has exactly the same meal.”
Major Ed said providing a school feeding program cost a lot of money. It was why the Salvation Army was so grateful for the contributions of Cypress Wholesale Food, and organizations like The Piapot Lions.
To Stewart and Major Ed, the program provides an invaluable service.
“If we helped just one child, it would have been worth it,” Major Ed said.