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Giving Tuesday

It’s Giving Tuesday – a global day of giving – and we’re celebrating with our many regular volunteers, as well as a few special guests today.

The Agapè Centre relies on the community to give their time, food, clothing, and funds. Without this support, we would not be able to continue to serve the many families and individuals in need.

Today we are reminded of the many, many, people in our community who give.

Councilor Carilyne Hebert is volunteering this afternoon in the food bank, helping to give out packages of 3 to 5 days’ worth of groceries to people in need. With her is an Agapè vet, Remi Gillet, who volunteers every Tuesday.

In the kitchen, a team of volunteers from Paroisse Sainte-Thérèse-de-Lisieux helped to prepare and serve a hot lunch of beef stew, soup and dessert to about 100 people. Pictured are Rita Besner, Lise Leblanc and Diane Burelle from Sainte-Thérèse-de-Lisieux, as well as weekly soup kitchen volunteers Maurice, Cecile and Kaitlyn.

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It’s easy to be a Hero

The Agapè Centre is thrilled to announce the launch of a new program that invites community groups to help feed those in need by sponsoring, preparing and serving a meal in the soup kitchen: “Hunger Heroes”.

Every day, Agapè serves a hearty and nutritious lunch to 150 or more people. For many, it’s their only hot meal of the day.

Four teams have already jumped on board to help eradicate hunger in our city, one meal at a time.

Chief Dan Parkinson and his team of CCPS servers were happy to show another side of the badge: caring and compassion.

“There can be almost no greater cause than to satisfy the most basic human physiological need: hunger,” said Parkinson. “Food security has to be a priority for any caring community,” he added.

The complex issues of poverty and hunger can often seem overwhelming, but the Agape Centre hopes the Hunger Heroes program can show just how easy it is for anyone to help.

Unfortunately, Cornwall has a high level of poverty, with a quarter of the population living below the poverty line. These are working people, people who have lost their jobs, those looking for work, seniors, those who depend on ODSP, and many with metal health struggles. When their very limited income just doesn’t cut it, the Agape Center is there for them.

Here’s how it works:
Teams arrive in the soup kitchen for 8 a.m. and spend the morning preparing lunch, which consists of a home-made soup, a main meal, coffee or tea and dessert. Then from noon to 1:30p.m., the volunteers serve the free meal they sponsored.

It requires a minimum time commitment, and the benefits largely outweigh any costs. ‘Hunger Heroes’ will see the tangible results of their day and will experiencing what something as simple as a hot meal means to someone who really needs it. Groups will not soon forget this enriching, empowering, and fun team-building activity.

The Agapè Centre invites community businesses, organizations, schools, families, churches, and other groups to consider taking part in this community challenge. For more information contact the Johanne Couture by phone at 613-938-9297 ext. 27, or by email at jcouture@agapecentre.ca

Within These Walls Building Campaign

It’ll be a new home for the Agape Centre, but the busy soup kitchen and food bank in Cornwall isn’t going anywhere.
The Centre on Thursday morning officially kicked off its “Within These Walls” building campaign, an aggressive and ambitious fundraising program to raise $1 million for much-needed renovations and repairs at the Fifth Street West site.

“The goal is $1 million, it’s a big number but the list of repairs needed is long,” said Bernadette Clément, co-chair of the building campaign, at a kick-off breakfast held at the Navy Club.

“The Agape Centre is a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s a welcoming place, an oasis, a safe haven to a lot of people in need. . .within those walls are all the services provided to people. (But) we need to fix the building if we want those services to continue to be provided.”

The Centre in a glossy magazine handed out Thursday had pictures of holes in walls and ceilings and outdated, crumbling infrastructure.

Clément noted the building’s heating system needs to be replaced, which will eat up a big chunk of the project costs, but there’s also plenty of work to be done on flooring, bathrooms and entrances – and many other areas.

The campaign is off to a great start, Clément noted, with $138,000 raised even before the official kickoff. Donations will be accepted from now until Sept. of 2017, but the major lifting in the fundraising efforts are between now and next May, because “repairs are urgently needed,” Clément said. “It’s a big campaign, but we feel confident, (and) things are moving (financially) already.” READ MORE HERE

 

Within These Walls Agapè’s Building Campaign

Please join us Thursday, September 4th from 7am to 8:30am at the Navy Club on 30 Sixth Street East in Cornwall. You are encouraged to bring a friend or two to the breakfast. The cost to attend is $20.00.

RSVP is required and can be made to: reception@agapecentre.ca / 613.938.9297

Some are surprised to realize that there is so much need in our community. The Agapè Centre has been providing food assistance since 1971 to over 1,100 individuals every month, about 50% of whom are families.  Individuals and families come to us at a point of crisis in their lives. The Agapè Centre meets them where they are at and responds to their immediate needs.

The food bank relies on donations of both food and funds from the community to be able to meet the growing necessities of those coming to us for help. Yet, over the past three years, we have seen a 30% increase in the number of requests and our building has deteriorated due to the upsurge and it’s not ok.

The building that houses our very efforts to help those in need is inviting you to support us in a very special way. We are asking you to come to our Kick-Off breakfast. The kick-off to our building campaign is on a Thursday morning and will give you a rare inside look at how hunger affects those in our community. We will also hear from Sheila Burnett, who started working with the poor in 1983 and she just recently finished her 30th year at the Shepherds of Good Hope, Ottawa.

 

Curious Chefs

New program for kids: “Curious Chefs: Cooking Club for Kids”, is based on healthy eating on a budget. The Club will be focusing on the four major food groups, kitchen safety, healthy school snacks and lunches, portion size, food labels,  a grocery store tour and of course, lots of cooking and eating. Children between the ages of 7-11 will be able to participate FREE of charge and also receive an excellent starter kit to take home at the end of the 6 weeks. The program also offers many creative activities and learning opportunities and a little “Fear Factor” each week.

GET MORE INFORMATION HERE

Hunger Awareness Week

This year Hunger Awareness Week is taking place from May 5-9, 2014.  We hope you will join us to increase awareness of the issue of hunger and the important work of food banks across Canada.

The theme for this year’s Hunger Awareness Week campaign is “Give Hunger a Voice.” We want to break the silence surrounding hunger in Canada and move it from a taboo topic to a mainstream one. We want to show the multitude and strength of the voices of hunger in Canada and show that that hunger can no longer be ignored.

To “Give Hunger a Voice” we are asking concerned community members to contribute to our online story wall of hunger.  Contributing is easy. Simply post a short written submission, video, or photo to www.facebook.com/FoodBanksCanada to one of the following categories:

  • Voice Your Story – Tell your own personal story of hunger or the story of someone close to you.
  • Voice Your Support – Provide a supportive message to Canadians living with food uncertainty. Let them know you are behind them and will help them break the silence surrounding hunger in Canada.
  • Voice Your Concern – Add a post directed to Canadian policymakers showing why you think hunger in Canada is unacceptable.
  • Voice Your Solution – Share what you are doing to ease hunger in your community. It could be a story of volunteering, donating or anything else that helps those who are hungry.

To show the voice of hunger in Canada is strong and cannot be ignored we encourage all Canadians to contribute to the story wall and participate in activities supporting Hunger Awareness Week.  For more information please visit: www.hungerawarenessweek.ca.

The Agapè Centre receives $4,000 from Tree Canada

The Agapè Centre is the recipient of a Tree Canada grant to purchase and maintain fruit trees. Supported by Loblaw, Silk, and TELUS, Edible Trees provides grants of up to $4,000 to municipalities, schools, and community gardens to purchase, plant, and maintain fruit and nut trees. “Fruit and nut trees do more than just clean the air and beautify our neighbourhoods,” said Michael Rosen, Tree Canada President. “The trees planted will become valuable sources of healthy food for these communities.”

“I am very excited to receive a grant as we believe at Agapè that food is the foundation and eating well is the first step. We want to get more fresh, local and organically grown produce onto the tables of individuals and families living on low incomes. The trees will bear fruit in less than three years and will supplement our offerings.” stated Alyssa Blais, Executive Director of the Agapè Centre.

Over the years, the Agapè Centre has experienced an increase demand for services and want to make certain that no one goes hungry in the community. “We are thankful to Tree Canada to provide us with this opportunity.” said Alyssa.

Collecting on children’s behalf – way to go Curves!

Curves Cornwall collected over 40 toys and 3 full family christmas baskets (value $600.00) for the Christmas Distribution Basket program held on December 19th, where over 1200 families will receive a christmas basket this year. In the picture from left to right: Valerie Chayer, Curves Manager, Suzanne Potvin, Curves Staff Member, Tiffany Martin, Curves Staff Member and Alyssa Blais, Executive Director of the Agape Centre.

They are also collecting cereal. We greatly appreciate their support and kindness. Thank you Curves Cornwall!

 

 

Rotary Club of Cornwall Sunrise & Staples donates to the Agapè Centre.

A gift card worth $1000 was presented to the Agapè Centre to help provide school supplies to help support individuals that need a hand-up!  These were funds raised during August and early September by the staff at Staples with the help of the Rotary Club of Cornwall Sunrise.

We want to thank the Rotary Club of Cornwall Sunrise and Staples Cornwall for their support!

 

The 2014 WALK is on February 22, 2014.

The Coldest Night of the Year is a non-competitive 5- and 10-km winter-walk fundraiser supporting select Canadian charities that serve the hungry, homeless and hurting in cities and communities across Canada.

Held on Saturday, February 22, 2014, the walk provides participants the opportunity to experience a hint of the challenges faced by those experiencing homelessness by walking for a few hours during a cold Canadian night in the dead of winter.