Bannock Express gives back to Saskatoon’s homeless in need of a meal
SASKATOON -- The owner of Bannock Express in Saskatoon is creating a donation wall to feed homeless people who need a meal.
“I watched a video of someone in New York who did it with pizzas and people would come in and they would buy a meal and donate a pizza. The neighborhood we have, I thought that would be a perfect idea,” Rachel Smith said.
Customers can donate between $2 and $10 and add a meal to the wall. A person can then come in and choose a meal of their choice from the wall for free.
Since opening in her new location on June 21 at 312 Avenue B South, Smith says the kitchen averages about 20 people a week who come to pick up a meal. She also sends her employees outside to go hand out meals to those walking by.
“They’re just so thankful that we are running the food out to them. They don’t have a place to live. We have a lot of traffic that come from the Lighthouse. We had a lady here and I gave her a tray of bannock just yesterday and she was so excited and said she will come back and support us,” smiled Smith.
Deo Laliberte, a family member of Smith’s and employee of Banock Express, has been working at the kitchen for about a year and does many deliveries. He says he is always happy to help give back.
“A lot of people actually love it. They’re surprised that someone spent their own money to give back to another person who can’t afford it and every time they come here, they say, ‘No way man, I can’t believe it this is a free meal?’” said Laliberte.
Smith started making bannock as a way to fundraise while she was in university. She then decided to grow her passion for bannock into a business and started cooking out of the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market kitchen. She is now happy she is in a position to reurn the favour.
“Having Bannock Express has always been a dream of mine and to see that dream fulfilled in my community and close to the core neighborhood and I’m able to give back to the community? It just means so much for me.”