St. Timothy's continues an ongoing commitment as the North Burnaby distribution depot for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Every Thursday (except for the weeks when assistance cheques are received) St. Timothy's welcomes upwards of 100 participants. A parish host program has helped in liaising with the neighbourhood, the volunteers, and the people who come to the Food Bank for assistance with groceries. Contact the parish by email.
BREAKFAST CLUB: Every Thursday morning from 8 – 9am breakfast is served to an average of 100 homeless and at risk persons. Our guests come from various regions in metro Vancouver. Breakfast includes scrambled eggs and ham. hash brown potatoes, toast, coffee, tea, orange juice, orange and banana sections, and baked goods from local bakeries.
Volunteers come from the parish, the local community, St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, and St Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby. Their teamwork and welcoming hospitality make our ministry an ongoing success since it started more than twenty years ago.
We work in cooperation with the New Westminster Homelessness Coalition Society. In October, we host a Connect Day during Homelessness Action Week. The day begins with breakfast (on Tuesday as well as Thursday that week). At 9am, several agencies and societies welcome folks to visit their booths and the clothing boutique. Hearing tests, hair cuts, legal advice, pet supplies, blankets, Elizabeth Fry, UGM, the Salvation Army, and housing and shelter groups are among those present at this event. A delicious lunch served by the Sikh Community rounds up the day.
Community Meal: Wednesdays: We gather, many friends, from 9 -11am to cook a fresh meal, soup or salads in the summer, sandwiches, veggie tray and fruit salad. Volunteers are always welcome to help on this happy morning. Thursdays: at 11am we serve the meal prepared the day before. Everyone is welcome to volunteer at this program, and, of course, the doors are open for everyone wanting to break bread and make new friends. Friday: we have an emergency food cupboard, where neighbours are invited to come on a rotating basis, once a month, and receive a couple of bags of groceries. This includes fresh veggies and fruits, meat and other staples, as made available to us. Absolutely anyone is welcome, and for any immediate emergency, phone the parish office and the priest will make food available at any time.
St. Catherine’s in Port Coquitlam serves the needy with a program called Paul’s Place Soup Kitchen. A sit-down soup lunch is provided with the help of 10-15 volunteers. About 100-150 people turn up every Wednesday, 12 noon until 2 pm except for the last week of December. Contact Bernie Poitras. High schools and other churches provide some assistance.
The Parish also puts on a special Senior's Christmas Lunch usually a week day near December 20th. The luncheon begins with a celebration of the Eucharist. Funding is mainly from donations. Visit the St. Catherine website for dates and times.
St. John Family Food bank operates year-round, on the first and third Thursday of the month from the church location. A sandwich lunch (serving about 40 – 60 people) and bi-weekly food bank are held at St. John the Apostle. This is a supplemental food program to help families in need. About 10 volunteers assist. All funds are received by donations as well as the support of the parish and bread is donated from Cobs Bread, Port Moody. Contact Karen Evans by email or telephone 604.936.7762 for information.
This small church is located in the heart of a rural farming community. In partnership with six other local churches and the support of the whole community, they are providing a program (running for the past 3 years) called The Olive Branch Dinners. Every Tuesday at 5 pm, a hot, sit-down dinner is served in the gymnasium of Agassiz Christian School. Cooking and the provision of the menu are done by volunteers from each of the churches in their turn. Volunteers from each parish help feed the 5 – 20 people.
The local community services also provide a food bank for those in need and donations of items of non perishable food are collected each Sunday at All Saints and taken regularly to the food bank.
Partner Organizations include: St. Anthony Catholic, Agassiz Christian Reformed Church, Agassiz Christian School, All Saints Agassiz, Barton Insurance, various Agassiz produce stores, meat from local farmers and the Community Services Food Bank. Funding is shared between the local churches.
The parish of All Saints serves the people of Mission. It has been designated as an extreme weather shelter, from November 1st – March 31st, when the temperature drops below zero overnight. Numbers served are 2 – 20. The ministry is enabled by 3 paid staff (1 coordinator, 2 overnight staff) and could always use more volunteers. This program is in partnership with Mission Community Services and is funded by BC Housing.
Meals are served weekly on Saturday Evenings at Golden Ears United Church. On average 90-110 people are served each week. We also prepare sandwiches that can be taken away for a meal the next day.
We have been blessed by the partnership with Golden Ears United Church, St. Paul’s Lutheran and Cornerstone Neighbourhood Church.
St Georges and partners are also very grateful to our community supporters - Maple Ridge Food Bank, Starbucks, Langley Market and the Farmer;s Market. We also appreciate donations of clothing, blankets and toiletries.
St. Michael’s is a caring and family-oriented church, located on 60th Avenue in Surrey. The parish provides a soup ministry, in conjunction with Nightshift Ministries. About 15 other denominations from Surrey to Langley combine to serve a Soup dinner on Wednesdays, 6 pm to about 80 – 120 people. The food is prepared by parishioners from St. Michael’s in a Mennonite church and served by members of two Baptist congregations. Funding for this program comes from supplies from Nightshift's warehouse as well as donations from members of the public.
Please contact Alice and Elmer Clarke by email if you’d like to participate or learn more.
Currently there are eleven projects happening at this busy parish. Please contact the church office if you would like to volunteer.
First Saturday of every month St Thomas's offers soup and sandwiches in downtown Chilliwack. Come to our parish hall from 12noon until 1pm. All Welcome.
North Surrey Projects
Milk to the value of $300.00 per month supplies Positive Haven Food Bank, eighty people attend the Food Bank weekly.
Donations of food, toiletries and wearable used clothing are sent to the Front Room Homeless Drop-In Centre where approximately 200 people attend daily. Every Wednesday during the school year, breakfast is provided to 40-50 children at Old Yale Elementary School in Whalley. The Surrey School Board provides similar breakfasts the other days of the week. St. Mark’s is currently seeking another school to initiate a similar project.
South Surrey & White Rock Projects
Eight projects are delivered in South Surrey and White Rock in collaboration with South Fraser Women’s Services Society (known as Women’s Place) which are provided at Women’s Place. Soup lunch for up to 12 disabled women is provided every Monday. Forty Dollars per week is given to Women’s Place to purchase food for a weekly lunch for up to 20 single mothers who attend a support group every Wednesday.Lunch is prepared and served by Women’s Place volunteers.
Lunch Basket Program for Hungry Children: Safeway Gift Cards to the value of $13 per child per week for up to 7 children are provided for single mothers whose children would otherwise go to school hungry. A dozen cookies per child are also provided weekly for inclusion in the lunches. Offered in conjunction with Women’s Place.
Meat roasts (to an average value of $60 per month) are provided for up to five families whose children participate in the Lunch Basket Program. Christmas Gift Hampers are assembled by various Bible Study Groups and delivered to Women’s Place for the children who participate in the lunch program. Special food hampers are also provided (in addition to hampers at Easter and Thanksgiving). During statutory holiday long-weekends, picnic food is provided.
A Rocha Christian Ecology Centre Vegetable Farm: Four shares in the vegetable farm are purchased at a cost of $550 per share. Three shares are picked up weekly by members of the congregation during the growing season and delivered to Women’s Place. This provides organically-grown food for needy women and their children. One share is delivered to the local Food Bank. Donations are also collected in a basket in the narthex and delivered weekly.
Funding is provided by weekly donations by the congregation. Members are also invited to pledge $50 per week as a memorial or thanksgiving donation for the Lunch Basket for Hungry Children Fund. A grant of $10,000 has been received from the Blanche Biddle Trust Fund to fund breakfast at the elementary school and other similar projects planned over the next few years.
The Front Room Chicks
The 'Chicks' have been a long-time outreach and charity ministry for St. Cuthbert's, and is one of the supporters for the HIV/AIDS supplementary foodbank (part of Positive Haven) established by South Fraser Community Services (see the St. Mark, Ocean Park posting).
Positive Haven is located on 135A Street, in the heart of an area of Surrey as desperate and desolate as Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. The people served by the foodbank must have a family member diagnosed as having HIV/AIDS by a physician. While some are able to work, others are living in their final stages. Some live in healthy, caring family circumstances, but many are scraping by on the margins of life.
The support from St. Cuthbert's consists of the provision of some foodstuffs from gifts and donations by parishioners, and volunteers to help with the distribution. Currently the focus is on providing a half dozen eggs per person per week, and a block of margarine monthly. On occasions such as Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas, special items are provided. This last Easter, for instance, canned hams were distributed, each with a cross and message, and tied with a ribbon, a quiet reminder for the recipients of the season. In the photo The Front Room Chicks - Bob Metcalf, Chuck Osborne, Carol Lamoureux.