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 100 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.

“It’s so good to see new faces volunteering in our kitchen. We wouldn’t be able to provide the services we do without the generosity of people in our community,” said Kendra Smith, the program’s coordinator. “The Hunger Heroes initiative is just one more way that people can give, but also have a meaningful experience.”

October’s ‘Hunger Heroes’ were Councillor-elects Carilyne Hebert, Justin Towndale, and David Murphy, and the Cornwall Community Police Service (CCPS).

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,” said Carilyne Hebert.

Justin Towndale decided to take part in the program because he believes everyone in the community should have access to basic necessities. “I hope to raise awareness,” he said. “Most of the time, those who need assistance are invisible.”

Councilor David Murphy brought along two Cornwall Colts players to share the eye-opening experience.

“Participating in the Hunger Heroes Program allowed me an opportunity the get an up close and personal look at the clients that benefit from the food served,” he said. “It was my privilege to have taken part in such a program.”

Here’s how it works:
Teams arrive in the soup kitchen for 9 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 (which typically totals $150).

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 program coordinator by phone at 613-938-9297 ext. 21, or by email at volunteercoordinator@agapecentre.ca

 

A big thank you goes out to the first four Hunger Heroes, for responding so quickly with such care and enthusiasm.

2014_Oc16_CarilyneHebert_2Carilyne Hebert helps Agape Centre cook, Jayne Robins, prepare lunch.

 

2014_Oct 21_DavidMurphy1David Murphy and Cornwall Colts players proudly show off the fresh salad they made.

2014_Oct 20_JustinTowndale_1Hunger Hero Justin Towndale serves up lunch with Agape Centre volunteers.

2014_Oct 23_CCPSHunger Heroes from the Cornwall Community Police Service.

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