Editorial: Great potential in weekend meals

Our Place is on leading edge of Victoria solution by providing food service on weekend

Keeping our community’s most vulnerable people fed on a regular basis is an ongoing issue, one we’ve been watching for some time.

So when the announcement came last month that a Victoria Foundation grant would enable Our Place to provide a lunch sitting on weekends – a first for the former Open Door and Upper Room facilities – it was good news, indeed.

The absence of a central location where members of the street community could sit down for a hearty meal for free on Saturdays and Sundays has no doubt created problems over the years.

Social housing providers may insist that having a roof over one’s head is paramount to one’s well-being. That may be true over the long term, but in the short term, an empty belly is more likely to affect a person’s capacity to make rational decisions.

That’s where the weekend meal offerings at Our Place have the most potential. Individuals who might have been forced to panhandle for change – or resort to illegal activities – to gather enough for a simple meal now have a place to go where they’ll not only be fed, but suffer far less of a hit to their self-esteem.

Our Place executive director Don Evans says attendance for the weekend openings continues to grow, with about 250 people served last Sunday. As word gets out about the expanded service, he expects weekends to soon become as popular as weekdays, when 300 to 350 of Victoria’s poor, disabled and homeless people are fed.

Having Our Place open seven days a week for meals offers regular soup kitchen users more continuity in their lives, which can be rather chaotic. Familiar faces and familiar places can do wonders for one’s well-being.

And with Greater Victoria’s winter rains and chilly temperatures fast approaching, having someplace warm, dry and welcoming to hang out for a while on the weekends doesn’t hurt, either.

We hope the success of the weekend opening demonstrates to funders of all kinds that keeping people fed is a good investment in maintaining a healthy and safe community.

Just Posted

Esquimalt café cooks up connections for all abilities

A Kinder Cup focuses on positivity, inclusivity and connection

Central Saanich sparks up new opening burning bylaw

New bylaw offers ‘balanced approach’ between status quo and tougher provincial regulations

Free bike exchange program available to Greater Victoria kids

The Re-Buy-Cycle Shop in Langford offers free bikes for young learners

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

Lone wolf eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Canada continues to win at world indoor lacrosse championships in B.C.

Results of the action from day two of the 2019 World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor World Championship

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Area 51 events mostly peaceful; thousands in Nevada desert

Three more people were arrested Friday on the remote once-secret military base

B.C. First Nation signs agreement to return its land on Vancouver Island

The land on the east coast of Vancouver Island will be returned to the We Wai Kai Nation

Most Read