Maritime Chef Makes a Difference at Salvation Army Food Bank

by Maritime
Categories: 2021, News Archive

Across the Maritimes, people are using their skills to help The Salvation Army provide for those in need. In Dartmouth, Chef Leighton is volunteering his time at our food bank, ensuring food boxes are packed with items families need to cook healthy and nutritious meals. 

It all began one morning when Leighton decided to visit the food bank at The Salvation Army community family services. Standing at the front entrance due to the COVID-19 restrictions, he noticed the hustle and bustle of the food sorting and packing, so he offered to help.

Since moving his family to Canada from Jamaica a few years ago, Leighton was looking to do something with his time and skills while awaiting his immigration status. A chef by trade, which kept him employed all his adult life, began his training in Colorado, USA and then back to Jamaica. 

“I’ve always been occupied in Jamaica, never without employment,” Leighton explains. 

Following formal training, Leighton began his career in the hotel industry and later landed a job with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line where he put his chef skills to use. Ironically, the Royal Caribbean had been docked at Maritime ports frequently during his five years as a cruise line employee.

“I want to give back”

Today, Leighton primarily volunteers in the frozen food section, sorting and packing goods for clients. “His training is beneficial to the food bank,” says Lt. Shelley Oseil, leader of The Salvation Army in Dartmouth. “He always knows what to do, especially when it comes to food handling.”

“I have a heart for people, so I want to give back,” says Leighton. “We are family oriented and we want to contribute to the economy. It’s family that builds you.”

Leighton is a part of the team of about twelve volunteers who serve at The Salvation Army Dartmouth Family Services. In addition to helping his community, he is grateful for the friendships that have been made.

“Volunteering allows me to meet people,” he says. “Helping people is a good thing to be doing.”

Learn more about how you can become a Salvation Army volunteer.


By: Jan Keats