Given the popularity of weekday meal service at Our Place – more than 1,200 are served daily Monday to Friday – the absence of weekend service at the Pandora Avenue facility has been a large hole.
The ability to offer lunch for the city’s street community and others living in poverty has been a goal for quite a while for the non-profit Our Place Society, admits executive director Don Evans.
“Weekends are a challenge for people to find meals,” he said. “There’s a few places that have sporadic (soup kitchens), but we felt lunch was the biggest gap.”
On Saturday and Sunday, clients sat down to a weekend lunch for the first time at Our Place. The service provider is using a grant of nearly $50,000 from the Victoria Foundation to offer the meals in a six-month pilot project.
Poverty and food security have been identified as major concerns in the community, foundation CEO Sandra Richardson said in a release.
“We are so pleased to be able to assist Our Place Society with this important initiative,” she said.
Evans said the weekend lunch program provides an opportunity to get people indoors and keep them warm and dry on the cold, wet days of late fall and winter.
Our Place will look for other funding sources to not only keep the lunch service going past May, but to offer other meals on weekends, he added. “This is a good start. And I’m sure the numbers will show that the need is great on the weekend.”
For more about Our Place visit ourplacesociety.com.