Lenten Giving: Week 1—Food Programs
“Loving our Neighbours as Ourselves.”
The Lenten season offers us a special opportunity to focus on what Jesus Christ teaches us and to renew our spiritual and Christian life at St. Clement’s. Appropriately, part of that is renewing our commitment to care for and serve people in need in our neighbourhood, country and around the world. Each Sunday in Lent we will highlight one of the five areas that St. Clement’s Outreach Ministry supports through your generous giving. We ask that you prayerfully consider how you might support one or more of these areas in 2023.
Food insecurity is a reality for almost 1 in 5 Toronto households and with high levels of inflation and economic pressures the need for support continues to increase. On your behalf, St Clement’s Outreach supports a number of agencies designed to ameliorate hunger in our city. This includes Flemingdon Park Ministry that distributes meals, holds community dinners and runs a community garden as well as the Flemingdon Food Bank which assists more than 700 families a week, a 50% increase from 2022. In the past year your generosity also supported St Bartholomew’s Food Bank, the nutrition program at Flemington Public School in the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood and Unity Table, a downtown community service kitchen located in Holy Trinity TO providing those in need with a safe warm place to share a good meal.
Donations to Outreach Food Programs also go to support our own volunteer-run St. Clement’s Wednesday Community Lunch program, which has been running weekly for more than 20 years even through the pandemic. This initiative provides a nutritious hot lunch, packed meal and an opportunity for fellowship to more than 30 regular guests. With the rising costs of healthy nutritious food, the costs to run this program have significantly increased so your contributions are very much in need.
The strong engagement from our wider community helps us to have an even larger impact. We continue to be grateful for La Vecchia Restaurant on Yonge Street which provides casseroles every week for either our Wednesday lunch guests or seniors living in supportive housing in the Flemingdon Park area. The students, families and staff from St Clement’s Early Learning School and St Clement’s School participate through donating food and personal care products as well as volunteering their time to support our food programs. It is a gift to have such wonderful neighbourhood partners.
Thanks to the many people who have donated to the St Clement’s Outreach Food Program cause over the years as this continues to make a difference in our community. Donations to this or any of the 2023 Lenten Giving causes can be made through the Donate page on stclementsto.ca/give, the CanadaHelps website canadahelps.org/en/charities/the-church-of-st-clement-eglinton/ or cash, cheque, credit card placed on the collection plate, in the mail or dropped off at the church. Please ensure you indicate the weekly Lenten cause that you are supporting with your donation or if you are choosing to give to the general Outreach program.
For more information please pick up the 2023 Lenten Giving brochure from the Welcome Hub.