Residents at a nursing home in Fredericton are lending a hand at a local community kitchen – giving a heartwarming serving of help to those in need of a bite to eat.   

On every second Thursday of the month, seniors from Pine Grove Nursing Home visit the Fredericton Community Kitchen to give back to their community.

“It was a blessing for me to come here and help others,” says 91-year-old, Phylena Drost. “So that they will have the same as ones that can afford it.”

On their latest visit to the kitchen, Drost and others helped to prepare bags filled with food and snacks.

“We've been bagging up cereals and stuff for people,” says volunteer, Ruby Hudon, who helps residents at the nursing home. “What we know is that they're going to have them in their pocket as a snack.”

It’s a gesture those who visit the community kitchen certainly appreciate.

“On my runs and walks through the paths, it's nice to sit down on the bench and have a little snack,” says kitchen guest, Rodney Gerow.

Helping kitchen guests stay satiated until their next meal is a constant goal for kitchen manager and chef, Louis Cosman, especially with cooler temperatures expected in the Fall.

“If they happen to be misfortunate and they have to be staying outside – we're going to bulk them up, so they have a fighting chance,” says Cosman.

Such volunteer efforts are what Fredericton Community Kitchens operations manager, Mike Smith, says reinforce the sense of community at the kitchen.

“They've performed a very important function, which helps them feel good about who they are as well,” says Smith. “That's what the community kitchen is about – everybody working together and feeling good about what they're doing.

By providing their time, the seniors at Pine Grove Nursing Home also reap the rewards of their volunteerism.

“It means so much to them,” nursing home employee, Sasha Hudon. “It really makes them feel like they're giving back to the community, and they really look forward to coming here every month.”

“I’m very grateful myself,” says kitchen guest, Allen Joe. “I'd like to thank the seniors around here.”

As for kitchen staff, they say the amount of help and support they receive from the seniors is a significant help and doesn’t go unnoticed.  

“That's two days’ worth of work that makes a difference in people's lives,” says Cosman.

With files from CTV's Jessica Ng