Union Gospel Mission has seven ministries across Winnipeg, with a goal to magnify God's Holy name and to share the message of salvation, one of the ways is through the Care Centre at 271 Archibald Street. 

Getting to build relationships and get to know the women who come is a big highlight for Shannon Vanleeuwen who is the head cook. "In the kitchen, you still get to minister to the ladies but it's in a different role. It's more casual, I don't have to say no to them as much as I did up front," Vanleeuwen says after spending time working at the front before becoming the head cook. "I get to say yes a lot. It's just a different relationship, but thankfully, there is ministry there."

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Vanleeuwen has had the role of head cook since August 2023. "I came in as the weekend cook, I loved it so much. I ended up working up front for a chunk of the time while a few people were away, so I worked up front in the office. Just recently started in the kitchen as a head cook full time."

While there is no typical day, Vanleeuwen says she "gets in around 9 a.m., they're doing devotions by the time I get in, snacks are at 10, so I get that ready, then deciding what I'm working with for the day and making a plan of what to cook. It's a busy kitchen, these women are well-fed and they appreciate it. It's a very busy space."

Vanleeuwen also emphasizes having fun in the kitchen. "We laugh a lot in the kitchen and they enjoy my cooking too, so that helps."