This Christmas season we are challenging everyone to promote compassion over consumption and participate in our Advent Ask.
A city made new: partnering with Sanctuary to provide meals for the local community
Located just around the corner from St. Paul’s, for the past 25 years Sanctuary Toronto has provided a healthy, welcoming community that particularly values people who are homeless and living in poverty.
The main purpose of community meals at Sanctuary is to offer space to build healthy, life-giving relationships. Sanctuary offer hearty meals prepared by a crew of volunteers from their community; medical care at their clinic; wifi, computers, and phones; shower facilities and personal care items; advocacy and referrals upon request; pastoral care; and books, clothing, and medical supplies.
Under ordinary circumstances, community meals are boisterous, cozy, family-style affairs. The Sanctuary team sets platters out at each table and has people serve themselves, just like home. They usually serve between 100 and 200 people, all gathered in together in our dining room.
“We went from serving around 300 meals a week to serving over 700 meals a week.”
COVID-19 has forced Sanctuary to make some big changes. For one thing, food insecurity for people who are homeless and living in poverty has worsened significantly since the start of the pandemic, and as a result Sanctuary went from serving around 300 meals a week to serving over 700 meals a week. Almost all the meals (still delicious, homestyle hot meals) are served outside in takeout containers, with up to five people allowed downstairs at any given time.
Still, Sanctuary has forged ahead and tried to make the best of it. They have little café tables, a heater, and fairy lights set-up on their front parking pad to help our meals feel a little special and to encourage safely distanced fellowship. Despite the challenges of operating during a global pandemic, Sanctuary’s community meals remain a lifeline for their community both as a source of food and as a source of companionship and community.
Our goal is to provide Sanctuary with 4 months of food and supplies: $16,000
The food and supplies needed to run the community meals is $1000 a week. Our goal is to provide Sanctuary with the food and supplies for 16 weeks, which happens to be the toughest 4 months of winter for those who are homeless and living in poverty. Here’s who you’ll be helping in Jesus’ name:
“Sanctuary…is my resilient family. It is a space that dignifies, respects and values us; a space overflowing with love and patience where we discover our potential.” -Tanya
“My Sanctuary is…it’s my home away from home. People welcome me there, and the staff are awesome because they understand me. And I really appreciate everything they do for me. That’s my opinion.” -Al
“Sanctuary is a place where people with unique perspectives come together in mutual support of one another. It is a community that strives to accept everyone no matter their situation in life. We share meals, trade stories, laughs, and tears. Sanctuary is a place many people call home.” – Kirk
Help Sanctuary provide people like Tanya, Al, and Kirk with the basics of warm food and community this winter.
Click on the button below to visit our Give Online page. Under the “Fund” section, select “Advent Ask” from the drop-down box and then finish completing the donation form.
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St. Paul's Bloor Street
227 Bloor Street East
Toronto, ON M4W 1C8
Weekday Online Connections
Mon-Thurs at 12 noon: Bible Study
Wed at 7 pm - Compline
Wed at 7 pm - Youth Group
9:30 am - Children's Ministry
10:30 am - Online Worship
11:10 am - Getting Traction
11:30 am - Youth Ministry