New West diner dishing up free soup to seniors

A local deli is serving up a dish of homemade soup to New West seniors who may be isolated in their homes.

Leona Green, who co-owns Greens and Beans Deli with her son Matt, has started making pots of soup and arranging for it to be delivered to local seniors.

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“Because they are hungry and they can’t go out,” she said when asked why she started the initiative.

Green has spread the word about the free soup for seniors’ initiative online and via word of mouth.

“They just have to call me and let me know who needs soup and an address,” she said. “Either I’ll take it or there are different people who have offered.”

Several community members have contacted Green saying they could help her deliver soup to shut-ins.

“I am making the normal ones. I am not sending out the most exotic soups,” she said. “On Sunday I came in and made a huge pot of chicken noodle soup. A lady that does karaoke at Dunwood Place came in and picked up about 20 bowls of soup on Sunday and took them to Dunwood Place. She put a box of soup in the lobby and then called everybody so people could go and get it.”

Green is no stranger to helping out her fellow New West citizens, having contributed to countless local organizations including homeless shelters, animal shelters, pensioners, lacrosse teams, anti-domestic violence campaigns and more. In 2019, she received a B.C. Community Achievement Award, which celebrates British Columbians who go above and beyond in their dedication and service to others and who devote time and energy to making their communities more caring, dynamic, beautiful, healthy and unique.

“It’s not an expensive thing,” she said. “I will do it as long as I can afford to. Yesterday, one of our regular customers came in and gave me $20. Her little boy gave me $6 from his piggy bank to pay for soup. He was holding on to it pretty tight, but he did give it to me. It was cute. Another lady from Facebook I know email transferred me $20 yesterday. I am not asking people to do that, but how sweet. People know money isn’t an endless supply in this business.”

The free soup for seniors’ initiative, however, comes at a time when Greens and Beans Deli, like other businesses, is hit by the COVID-19 crisis. While the Sapperton Deli is still open for business, it’s take-out only.

“All the catering that we had for the month has been cancelled. Our coffee trucks are out there, and they are doing fine because they are going to places where people are working,” Green said. “We will be fine.”


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