Beechville Baptist Church upgrades through Neighbourhood Kitchen Fund

Even small changes can have a big impact.

Beechville Baptist Church hasn’t had a kitchen upgrade since the church was re-built in 1979. A lot of their crockery and cookware dated back to that era. Think heavy, mismatched plates, pots and pans that have cooked for the masses for over 40 years, much of which was handed down or donated. That’s very typical of an African Nova Scotian community; hand-me-downs have become a tradition. And while they are thankful for those donations, there is a certain amount of pride in investing in something new for yourself or for your community.  

With a Neighbourhood Kitchen Fund grant, they purchased 200 brand new place settings – plates, bowls, mugs, silverware. They were also able to purchase new water jugs and good quality pots and pans – all the things you need to make a kitchen functional for hosting a crowd.  

“How you present food to people makes a difference,” says Yvette Jarvis, a member of the church social committee. The place setting they chose also has a lot of meaning and symbolism behind it. The design is called ‘the tree of life’ and that just happens to be the church’s motto. The tree symbolizes the strong generational ties to this historic Black Nova Scotia community.   

When people look down at their plate after they’ve polished off a delicious meal together, they’ll see that tree of life and be reminded of the generations and generations of their people coming together and preparing and sharing a meal.
– Deacon Patsy Crawford

The church now has a unified look for their community meals, and their youth and senior cooking classes which are taught by local Red Seal chefs.   

All these kitchen improvements really lifted the spirits of the Beechville congregation and larger community. And keeping with the tradition, all their old kitchen wares were donated to local women’s shelters or families in their community. Nothing was wasted.  

Patsy looks forward to coming together again for their next community meal. She says, “Sitting down for a meal together can reignite friendships in community and even within families.”