A new year has brought with it new changes to Peterborough’s meal program for the needy.Instead of supporting two separate programs, the city now funds one.
Greg Davis has more on the new One Roof Community Centre:
Volunteer Rita Rye has made the kitchen her mainstay at One Roof Community Centre – the new city funded meal program to feed the needy
Rita: There are so many people out there that need this. It’s very rewarding.
One Roof Community Centre launched Friday at St. John’s Anglican Church. It’s the same site where the Lighthouse Community Centre offered a lunch program. For nine months One Roof Diner offered dinners at All Saints Anglican Church.
Last summer the city decided to fund one program at $250,000 annually. One Roof won the bid.
Casey Watson, program co-ordinator: So the growth from 5 meals a week that we were doing before to 12 meals week which is a huge expansion for our volunteers, donors and staff.
One Rroof volunteers prepare enough food for 120 clients per sitting.
Casey: With the holidays and with everybody’s personal circumstances. right now numbers fluctuate hugely. We expect by the end of September we will be seeing 100 people for each meal pretty consistently.
Alicia Edgar has been using meal programs for several months. She say one roof offers a welcoming atmosphere for her and her friends.
Alicia: Because it’s nice and warm and we get a free meal… it’s really great I like it… (reporter: And the food?) It’s amazing.
Drop-in at One Roof is noon to 7 p.m. daily. The meal program serves lunch and dinner Monday to Friday; lunch only on Saturday and dinner only on Sunday.
That’s plenty of time for Rodney Marois to volunteer, even giving up his hockey practices.
Rodney: They gave me a warning that if I miss one more practice I’d be off the game the next day.
That doesn’t bother me I consider my volunteering serious.
One Roof also plans to add leisure activities and resources such as employment services.
Casey: So many people in our community have settled for far too long – settled for not being welcomed; settled for not being loved; settled from something less than the best. And we want to surprise our guest that they don’t have to settle. We want to raise the standard of the minimum meal. That’s why I do this.
Greg Davis CHEX News Peterborough