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

Hillside Avenue death ruled a homicide, police say

No charges have yet been laid in the killing of Victoria man Joe Gauthier

Hope gets eight year sentence for Church Avenue sex assault

Eight years is the sentence for David Robert Hope, who was found… Continue reading

Short-term rental market up for changes April 1 in Victoria

Bylaw amendments hike fees, require homeowner’s presence

Colwood wins Victoria Flower Count for a five-peat

The 43rd annual Flower Count had over three billion blossoms counted in total

Alcohol, swimming believed to be culprit for Wednesday’s near-drowning at Gorge

Emergency crews called to scene at Gorge Bridge to treat at least one person pulled from water

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 16, 2018

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

Dead rabbits found at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds stoke concerns about Nanaimo virus

A B.C. wildlife veterinarian says a few of the dead bunnies will be sent for diagnosis next week.

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

B.C.-based CEO charged with conspiring to sell unhackable phones to criminals

Vincent Ramos of Richmond, was arrested last week in Seattle in years-long undercover operation

Most Read