Explore how our parishes and partners fulfill their mission as Disciples of Jesus Christ, providing food and shelter to neighbours. While ministry encompasses more, this foundational and intentional work echoes Christ's words in Matthew 25:37-40.
St. Agnes, located in a residential neighbourhood just off Grand Boulevard, features a variety of Food Outreach Initiatives which include Weekly Community Meals (partnered with St. Andrew United), Sandwiches for Lookout Shelter.
St. Catherine’s is located in Edgemont Village an affluent North Vancouver neighbourhood and features a couple of on-going projects which includes Cookies for Lookout Homeless Shelter and an On-going collection for NS Harvest Project Food Bank. An annual Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner is prepared as part of the parish's community service, it is served in the parish hall and involves a number of community groups and also user groups that call St. Catherine's home. The meal on average is served to approximately 200 people in the community who are needy and/or lonely.
Soup to Share
Soup and Sandwich lunch served at St. Clement on an ad hoc basis. The soup is donated by parishioners and financial donations towards lunch are directed toward outreach ministries. 25-30 served. Soup to Share is on hiatus for the summer.
North Shore Harvest Food Bank
Regular donations are made by the parish to this food bank, supplemented in summer time by fresh vegetables grown by St. Clement’s Church School. Parish support of North Shore Harvest is year round.
These ministries do not receive any outside funding and are all supported by the parish.
St. Christopher in West Vancouver offers a year-round Food Bank service. Food is available at the church for pick-up if needed. Parishioners also donated food on a year-round basis for North Shore Harvest Food Bank.
Celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2017, St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church’s motto is “Connecting with our Community.” We have a number of Hospitality outreach programs:
With funding from the Gibsons Rotary Club, St. Bart’s shares in the Gibsons Community School Lunch Program (delivering platters of sandwiches and veggies on Thursdays).
With support from the community, St. Bart's offers a Food Bank on the 3rd Wednesday of every month from 1-3pm. Clients are asked to present valid BC health cards and the health cards of any dependents that will also require food.
For those in emergency need beyond Food Bank days, grocery store vouchers are available. Again, a valid BC Care Card is required. Vouchers are provided by grocery stores in exchange for till tapes gathered up by parishioners, and are also paid for by point-of-sale donation tins.
With funding from the parish, St. Bart’s has operated a monthly Messy Church outreach with crafts and a meal for families on the third Saturday of each month (excluding July through September). This program is currently under review.
The Anglicans of West Point Grey Neighbourhood Ministry is a collaborative ministry offered by the parishes of St. Anselm’s, St. Philip’s, St. Helen’s and St. John's, Shaughnessy to serve people living on our streets. Under the guidance of Rev. Dr. Pitman Potter and staff facilitator the Reverend Liz Hamel, the Neighbourhood Ministry offers care, companionship and practical help to our most vulnerable neighbours living on the Westside streets and in marginalized conditions.
At the core of the Neighbourhood Ministry is its street outreach program. Teams of 3-5 people (one from each parish) take part in the preparation and distribution of packages to homeless folk on the west side. Volunteers deliver nutritious packets of food, clothing and other necessities every Saturday morning, year-round. The greatest gift is that of conversation and companionship, and those living on the street have developed a trust in Neighbourhood Ministry volunteers. The parishes donate items in-kind and cash, as well as provide volunteer help. This ministry initiative transforms the lives of those who prepare, give and receive the packets by fostering friendship and understanding.
Building Community at Dunbar Apartments
Neighbourhood Ministry volunteers help build community at the Supportive Housing apartments at 17th and Dunbar. Dunbar Apartments offers housing to formerly homeless people from the area – many of whom were referred by the Neighbourhood Ministry – as well as those with mental illness referred through the Vancouver Health Authority. Volunteers at Dunbar serve dinner on the weekends and offer seasonal celebrations for building residents. In addition, volunteers offer one-on-one assistance that ranges from accompanying residents to medical appointments to pastoral care. The Neighburhoood Ministry contributes funding toward a breakfast program. Coast Mental Health manages the Dunbar Apartments and through the Neighbourhood Ministry involvement in the building, a very collaborative relationship has formed.
Mobile Care Unit
In 2017, the Mobile Care Unit (MCU) was launched in partnership with the UBC Schools of Medicine and Social Work. The MCU is a travelling team who provides basic medical care and social services to homeless and low-income populations in our neighbourhood who may face barriers to care. The team is comprised of doctors, medical students, social work students, and Neighbourhood Ministry volunteers. They visit three sites on average 8 times per month, sites where homeless and needy neighbours gather for community meals. Currently, this includes visits to the Kitsilano Showers for the Homeless program at the Kits Community Centre (Saturdays), St. Mary’s Kerrisdale (Tuesdays), and St. Augustine’s Marpole (Thursdays). Our MCU team also visits homeless people where they live – in alcoves, laneways and beaches. Volunteers assist in any way they can to help clients access resources and services available.
The Angels Program The Neighbourhood Ministry has ‘angels’ to help with supporting the people we serve. Volunteer angels are paired with clients who require extra support in accessing services for which they are eligible. Angels play a significant role in supplementing services done by the Mobile Care Unit, working behind the scenes to advocate for and assist clients.
Funding and Support Funding for the Neighbourhood Ministry activities is shared by the four sponsor parishes (St. Anselm’s, St. Helen’s, St. John’s Shaughnessy and St. Philip’s). Parishes donate items-in-kind and cash, and provide the bulk of volunteers. Over the years, neighbours and friends not associated with the churches have joined as volunteers, to be part of this special and life-changing ministry.
Beginning in 2018, The Neighbourhood Ministry Mobile Care Unit is the grateful recipient of care+share funding from the Diocese of New Westminster.
There are many ways to support the Neighbourhood Ministry. You are warmly welcome to join us! Visit our website at www.neighbourhoodministry.com
TUESDAY COMMUNITY MEAL - We have been feeding the less fortunate since 1997 at a hearty sit-down evening meal on Tuesday. Those who come to our meal are the working poor bringing their children, the homeless, the isolated, the disabled, new immigrants, the mentally handicapped, and elders, especially women with low incomes. This ministry has grown over the years and is run with the help of countless volunteers every Tuesday at 5:30pm like clockwork.
WEDNESDAY HAMPER PROGRAM – This program, the Reaching Home Hamper Initiative, evolved out of grant money , we partner with The Richmond School Board this program has grown from an original half dozen hampers to approximately 24 hampers weekly. The recipients are families with children in both elementary and secondary schools, as identified by teachers and principals. To date we have provided food to over 4,000 people.
FRIDAY LUNCH PROGRAM – A nutritious and hot lunch continues to be served out of the church hall every Friday at 11:30 to between 25 and 35 people. Due to COVID we have transitioned to a takeout style but the community atmosphere prevails. We are nearing 8,000 lunches served to date, since 2016.
SATURDAY SHOWER PROGRAM - The Shower Program runs every Saturday 7:30am – 10am and provides a place for guests to shower, receive hygiene and clothing essentials, as well as a hot breakfast. A bagged lunch is also distributed by volunteers. We have between 6-10 volunteers every week to help the guests, and we serve approx. 25-35 guests each week. Due to the safety concern for our volunteers and guests, the program has followed the direction of the provincial health order to close down on March 7, 2020. As of March 2021 the program is still suspended.
SUNDAY OUTREACH PROGRAM – This program has expanded. It started out as a mobile sandwich program for the homeless, to include wonderful deli assortments and easy to prepare meals, donated by the Food Bank each Sunday morning. The focus remains on the homeless but a large number of recipients are the unemployed, those on social assistance, or those who do not have enough income to feed themselves or their families. The food is delivered by Team Sunday, which consists of two pairs of volunteers and deliveries take almost the entire day. Socks, underwear, boots, shoes etc are also distributed.
FOOD AID DELIVERY COALITION – This continues as per its originator, Hugh Freiberg, who delivers hot meals five nights a week, prepared and donated by faith organizations or by contract from local restaurants.
St. Mary’s Kerrisdale Church provides the Kerrisdale Community Meal (KCM) on a year-round basis and the meal is served each Tuesday at 11:30 am. The meal is a hot, home-cooked, sit-down meal with coffee and pastries available from 10:15 am. A modified “brown-bag” sandwich take-out service is provided in the summer months (3rd Tues in Jun - 2nd Tues in Sept). The KCM has approximately 30 volunteers who serve between 80-90 people on Tuesdays. An additional 40 volunteers ensure the weekly “behind the scenes” organization operates smoothly with baking, shopping for meal ingredients and pickups from local suppliers.
Funding is provided from individual donations, contributions from businesses, occasional fundraising events and in-kind donations from local Kerrisdale merchants.
Partners include: Point Grey High School (students from Life Skills class receive training at the Community Meal).
Volunteers are always welcomed. For more information, please contact the Parish Office @ 604.261.4228.
The Eburne Society offers free community meals on or around the major holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Between fifty and eighty people enjoy a sit-down dinner in the Parish Centre. There are about ten volunteers and no paid staff. The Eburne Society relies on donations and the occasional fundraising event.
The Food Bank uses the St. Augustine Parish Centre to distribute food every Thursday morning except cheque week.
The Hudson Street Hub, a partnership between St Augustine’s and the Marpole-Oakridge Family Place, hosts a dinner at St. Augustine's Parish Centre every Thursday evening: doors open at 6pm dinner is served at 6:30. The cost is $6 per person or by donation, but no-one will be turned away due to lack of funds. The Hub also hosts a breakfast every Friday morning from 9am until about 10:30 starting at $4 per person. Again, no-one will be turned away.
The Hub offer recreation programs for seniors and others as well throughout the week, everything from sewing and knitting to ping-pong and bridge. And seasonally, we offer tax clinics, flu shots, and other important services. Contact St Augustine’s for a schedule of events.
St Augustine’s Thrift Shop, Second Hand Rows, is open Thursdays and Saturdays, usually from around 10am until 2pm, though the hours vary. Come at lunch time for your best chance of finding a bargain on clothing, housewares and anything else you could want.
MANY OF THE ABOVE PROGRAMS ARE IN TRANSITION DUE TO COVID-19
Christ Church Cathedral uses food to nourish its communities in ways that cultivate connection, holistic health and community resiliency, by honouring the agency, creativity, dignity, intellect, and worth of all who come to the table.
The Cathedral’s Maundy Café is a place of hospitality and connection where food is shared in the picturesque Park Room five days per week. Our guests include people who are street-involved, as well as seniors, tourists, and those who work in the area. Meals are served from September through June at the following times:
Mondays: 9.00am to 11.00am
Tuesdays: 11.00am to 12.30pm
Wednesdays: 11.00am to 12.30pm
Thursdays: 5.30pm to 7.00pm
Fridays: 11.00am to 12.30pm
There are opportunities to volunteer in the kitchen, as greeters, servers, or musicians at a variety of times throughout the week.
To volunteer, please contact the Cathedral’s volunteer coordinator through the parish office at 604.682.3848 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cathedral also partners with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank to host the Downtown Community Food Hub on Mondays from 9.00am to 11.00am in the Parish Hall. The Food Bank runs every week, with the exception of Statutory Holidays and Cheque Week Mondays. For further information on the Food Hub contact 604.876.3601
Meal Ministry (Hot Meal)
The sit-down hot meal, served from 6 – 7 pm in the church hall operates on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Friday of each month and serves 120 people. Approximately 30 people are volunteering at the meal. St. Michael’s and St. Philip’s provide $200 each a month for one hot meal (2nd Friday); Rainbow Church provides funding for the other two Fridays. Holy Cross provides canned food and volunteers for Mondays. Partners include: St. Philip, Holy Cross, Rainbow Church. Contact Brigette Castro by email for more information.
To receive food from the food bank, people register with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. On Thursdays, the Food Bank is open for workers and students from 6 – 7 pm. The Food Bank is not open on Thursdays that fall during welfare cheque week. At the moment it serves 40 people. Funding Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Partners include: Holy Cross; Greater Vancouver Food Bank.
St. Margaret’s parish is in the Cedar Cottage neighbourhood of East Vancouver. The parish has a long history of taking an active part in the neighbourhood. This is especially evident on Tuesdays, from 10 am to 12 noon when St. Margaret’s Food Bank Depot distributes groceries to the needy. In 2009 St. Margaret’s was approached by the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society who was looking to find a new location for a depot that was currently being run out of the Trout Lake Community Centre and needed to move because the community centre was going to undergo renovations. Starting in November, once a week except during income assistance week, our sanctuary is transformed from its usual configuration for Sunday worship into a new configuration that fits several tables and thousands of pounds of fresh and packaged food, which is distributed by the approximately 20 dedicated volunteers to the nearly 300 recipients each week. Most of the people that use the food bank are from the local neighbourhood, many are seniors and nearly half are families with young children. This program runs year round.
Please contact the Rev. Heidi Brear by email for more information. All funding comes from individuals and organizations willing to donated funds, food and time. Partners include: Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.
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. 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.