Sherry Leduc-Brady will tell you she doesn’t really do anything.
She founded the Kitimat Community Supper Club in 2013 (the first meal service happened April 2014), and ever since has been there, with a dedicated group of volunteers, to serve food to people in the Kitimat First Baptist Church every Monday night.
No money is required, and the group have always welcomed people from any walk of life. It’s a ‘community’ supper club, not just one for certain demographics.
Her dedicated work earned her the attention of two people who chose to nominate her for a program run by the Mr. Mikes company, called Deeds Well Done.
With two nominations for her in the program which highlights people doing good work in their community, she has come away as one of 20 people in the entire province who took the top prize.
That is aside from her getting a credit to the restaurant chain, she was given $1,000 to give towards a charity of her choice.
It didn’t take her long to choose the Kitimat Food Bank Society for her choice.
The two groups often share food, giving surpluses to each other, from lasagna noodles to, one time, 200 packs of bacon.
She felt that while food donations are likely the bulk of what the food bank gets, there’s a lot of financial need either from rent and utilities to buying food locally when it goes on sale.
Sherry beams with positivity throughout the day. At 9 a.m. on Monday she’s with the volunteers setting up the room at the church with chairs and tables. She was already there the day before preparing the food for the day.
As volunteers come in she stops to welcome them and pays them a compliment or two.
“You gotta cook with love,” she says, saying a sour attitude translates to others, and even to the food they serve.
Within the nomination piece posted to the Mr. Mikes contest, the person wrote that “Sherry took it upon herself to start up a community supper club for a town with a growing amount of homeless people…Sherry is always looking to reach out to our community and does everything in her power to make sure no one goes without. Warm clothes for the winter, food for the hungry. She does all this because she has such a huge heart.”
She says that it’s her way to give back after she’s been helped so much. She said the genesis of the supper club here began with the death of her first husband in Quesnel. Her church gave her strong support and she joined a group of other single mothers who would cook food for each other.
She moved to Kitimat in 2011 and joined a baseball team and heard stories about high rents taking money from people’s food budgets. She began by feeding the baseball team, then it slowly grew to others.
Eventually she had to locate a larger kitchen and the Baptist Church is the place that gave her a green light to use their facility. Even today though she still maintains a storeroom in her home of food that she uses to deliver to people who can’t come to the Monday night gatherings.
But she’ll still say she doesn’t do anything.
“I basically boss people around,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve done anything.”
However she does see the community as a whole becoming more connected over time and getting people out and socializing is one of the secondary goals of the whole operation.
“I was determined to make Kitimat like I remembered it,” she said, about growing up in town and remembering how tight-knit everyone was.
As for the recognition of being chosen in the Deeds Well Done program, she said when she heard she was more excited for her nominator, who also won a $25 gift card for choosing the winning nomination, than she was about winning the award for herself.
As she says, it’s all about everyone else.