It’s a tradition that has been happening in Maple Creek for 20 years, the Loonie Toonie lunch every Wednesday. Its founder Min Jackson hangs up the apron for volunteering at the weekly luncheon after initially bringing the idea to Maple Creek.
“I went to visit a friend at the Salvation Army in Whitehorse, and they did a soup program there, and that’s what gave me the idea to start it here,” Jackson said.
It started out as something targeted toward seniors, but eventually it involved everyone with even the younger crowds coming out. It’s also never shy of attendance — on average 60 people show up every Wednesday, and on days more special days such as Christmas and Thanksgiving the crowds get much bigger, just shy of 100.
Loonie Toonie goers are treated to a full meal with dessert, but it wasn’t always like that, Jackson explains.
“When it started it was just loonie lunch, but then in 2002 we increased the price to $2 as we had more volunteers coming and providing more food and finally in 2008 we went up to $3 because then it was a full meal that came with everything,” Jackson said.
A lot of volunteer work goes into prepping the food and serving it out to all the hungry stomachs that walk into the building. Jackson says in her time volunteering she has always had a handful of people offering help.
“I’ve always had helpers that have come and gone. Some helped for a while and then moved away, and others have gotten older and not able to help, but I’ve always been blessed with help when I needed,” she said.
Jackson has a passion for both cooking and volunteering so just because you won’t see her on Wednesdays doesn’t mean she won’t be doing both those things.
“I will be around volunteering at other various things and still be cooking so people will definitely still see me around,” she said.
NEWS PHOTO MEGAN CHAMNEY
Min Jackson, who brought the Loonie Toonie lunch to Maple Creek, hung up her apron after volunteering at the luncheon for 20 years.