Victoria Satsang

Mother's Kitchen project every Sunday - Volunteers Needed!

Making sandwiches on Sundays
Making sandwiches on Sundays
(Weekly event) Dec 20, 2015 to Jun 05, 2016 (ended)

Mother's Kitchen

Members of the Victoria Satsang volunteer to make sandwiches and soup every Sunday to provide a meal to the participants of the "Our Place" outreach program in Victoria.

Please come and assist. You will be very welcome and help to make a difference.  10:00 am every Sunday.

Address:  919 Pandora Avenue,  Victoria, BC V8V 3P4

Our Place website

Victoria Satsang's Mother’s Kitchen Story (Nov. 2015)

Amma always tells us how important it is to do seva, to help those in need, and to have compassion. So, about 12 years ago, when one of our satsang members broached the idea of starting a Mother’s Kitchen here in Victoria, many of us were happy to get involved.

Hans did some volunteer work at the Open Door, a downtown refuge and aid center. Many stores donated bread to their kitchen, but he noticed it wasn’t all used. Knowing there were many hungry people on the streets of Victoria, Hans suggested we could use it to make sandwiches.

For the first while, 8 or 10 of us met in Bryan's house on Saturday mornings. Ranjan bought a slicer, Hans bought the fillings, and Bryan supplied some fresh produce. We put together tables to make a long assembly line, laid down rows of bread slices, and covered them with margarine, mayonnaise, and a variety of deluxe toppings. Amma's bhajans played on a ghetto blaster while we made 150 to 200 sandwiches.

Initially we drove and walked around downtown to offer them to people. Looking for the hungry showed us a side of our city we weren’t familiar with. We came across drinking parties and once surprised someone injecting himself with a drug. Most were happy to accept our sandwiches. We also delivered boxes of them to an emergency shelter, a women’s shelter, and a low-income apartment.

Soon Reverend Al, who ran the Open Door, gave us permission to make our sandwiches in the basement, and offered to reimburse us for money spent on the fillings (it was hard for our small satsang – 10-15 regulars – to afford the weekly groceries). The building was closed on weekends, so we gave sandwiches to people lined up for them outside. Later Reverend Al asked us to switch to Sundays, when less free food for the needy was available in the city.

At some point Chris heard about Cob's Bakery. They bake high-quality, artisan breads every day, deliberately making enough to donate extra to charities. We started picking up their bread every Saturday evening, for the next day’s sandwiches. People had always liked our sandwiches, but the fresh bread made them even more delicious!

Over the years many things have changed, and we’ve had some challenges. People have come and gone, and occasionally there aren’t many of us. One of the biggest changes was when the Open Door and a neighbouring agency were replaced by a new, much larger building on the same land. The new building is called Our Place.

This building now stays open on Sundays, so hungry people are welcomed in for a sit-down meal. These days, satsang members work alongside Our Place’s cook, as well as a mix of other volunteers, to make sandwiches and soup for 300 to 500 people. We may also help serve the lunch, along with coffee and tea, to people seated at tables.

“Some people look forward to this meal every week,” says Swarna, a Mother’s Kitchen regular. “We’ve had many compliments on the quality and the ‘love’ in our sandwiches. Our Mother’s Kitchen made it possible for people living in poverty to have a meal regularly on Sunday.”

The devotees serving have a deep sense of supporting the community, while practicing Amma’s teachings. Amma says, it is a blessing to be able serve others. We are learning the truth of her words with this opportunity to serve others selflessly, without expectation or demands.

“An amazing aspect of Mother’s kitchen is that we see Amma always takes care of the project,” Swarna adds. “For instance, on a day when we seem to be short on helpers, someone will unexpectedly come and say, 'I felt like I was supposed to come'. It is Her hand guiding us in the process.”

We can always use more help. If you’d like to join us, or learn more about Victoria Satsang’s sevas (bread pick-up on Saturday evenings, and Mother’s Kitchen on Sunday mornings) please contact Swarna at