FNC Meal Bag Program

The Friday Night Community Meal Bag program continues to provide food support for anyone needing extra help during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This may include those unable to get the food needed due to financial difficulties, social or self-isolation or health challenges.  Friends can come for pick up Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12-4:00 pm and we offer deliveries for those who are in need of additional assistance.  We are presently providing over 100 deliveries and assisting over 400 individuals every meal bag day, providing enough food for 2-5 days depending on the need. 

We are thankful for our volunteers who are working on site to cook, package and distribute the meal bags and deliver to friends as needed.  We appreciate the many community partners who are working with us to help cook the large number of meals needed and who provide food and financial assistance to support this ministry.  

Our most needed items include:  Laundry detergent, dish soap, adult Depends, baby cereal, white sugar, toilet paper, paper towel and cleaning products.

For more information on how you can help please e-mail Lisa at llunski@wsquare.ca or visit the website at https://www.wsquare.ca/outreach/friday-community/

Meal Bag Program update for Friday Night Community

Good Sunday morning to our amazing Friday Night Community friends,

I wanted to keep you all updated on how our ministry continues to shift with the ongoing changes around COVID-19.  We are continuing with our Take Home Meal Bag program on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from noon-4PM.  We are following all of the necessary protocol as recommended by the region and health department at this time.  We are down to a more skeletal crew of volunteers working at the church which can be difficult with the long days, but we want to ensure we are following procedures to ensure everyone’s health and safety.  We have some limited spots for those who are comfortable and healthy and would be able to work in a faster paced setting.  Please contact me if you would like to help with food prep, food packaging, distribution and clean up.  As we move forward we will be delivering more meals for people who have physical and health challenges and are not able to pick up themselves.  At times there are also jobs that can be done at home which allow us to work more effectively at the church.  A HUGE thank you to those who are supporting our friends through the Community Connections telephone buddy system.  We are hearing how supported and cared for people feel having someone check in on them, listening to some of the challenges they are facing and helping us to assist them as we are able.  

We are partnering with different organizations and agencies to do our best to support one another.  We received a 52 foot refrigerated truck from Voortman’s that is now parked in our lot to house our food.  This week we received an amazing donation from Gay Lea through the Salvation Army, and have other partners helping us to prepare food and provide some much needed food and resources.  We are also assisting programs in our community who are reaching out to us to provide meals for their clients. 

We have created a Friday Night Community Facebook page that you can join to stay connected with each other and our friends in our community.  You can see the most recent posts of what is happening in our Take Home Meal Bag program.  It is open to the public. 

Our biggest need at this time is for food donations of any kind.  We did benefit from some restaurants and food distributors who are now closed.  Please reach out to your contacts who supply or sell food of any kind.  Perhaps they may give us a discount or allow us to purchase in larger quantities than the grocery stores are.  We are also in need of consumables such as food prep gloves of all sizes, masks, ziplock bags and take out containers.  Chef Keith who helped at our FNC Fundraiser is preparing meals in the smaller take home foil trays that can be warmed in the oven if you can find any of those.  We are also looking for funding opportunities in order to sustain our food program so please let us know if you hear of any or have any leads.  

Lisa  💕

I have included a list of the most needed items at the bottom which you can share with friends and family.  Some additional items needed are empty egg cartons, canned cream soups and brown beans for making meals.  We are also hoping to borrow sturdy food carts/trolleys which will make it easier for us to move food around.  Please also note the hours for our Take Home Meal Bag program which you can share with those in need of food.  We will now have a table on the grass to collect any donations rather , and ask that if you drop something off to ensure you are keeping the 6 foot distance requirement and that you do not hang around to chat. 

Sure do miss you all and want to stay connected.  Please fire off a text or e-mail and and even a picture to let us know how you are doing.  Please also send any prayer requests at this time.  I am including some recent pics at the bottom so you can see what has been happening.

With thanks and appreciation for our Friday Night Community family,

C-19 and Friday Night Community Volunteering update

Hi friends, 

During this continued time of fear and uncertainty it is such a blessing to know that we are a part of a bigger community of friends who care for one another and have many special memories.  It is these memories shared that remind us that we will one day (hopefully soon) be back together again.  We know some of you are waiting to get back into the country while others are self-isolating after trips or due to personal or family health concerns.  We have shifted our Friday Night model to one of ‘regular take-home’ meals where friends meet outside the door and we give them a smile, a wave and a bag of food.  Even more so it has changed from Friday Night Community just to ‘Community’, as we are working with other local groups to meet the many needs of our regular FNC friends as well as others who are in need of assistance at this time.  We want to thank you for your continued support which comes in many forms…from hands on assistance, donations, sharing of the needs, prayers, reaching out to our community friends and messages of support.  Although the food availability has diminished, we are presently benefitting from some local restaurants that have been forced to close.  Please spread the word if you know of anyone who has food to offer. We are also so thankful for our walk-in freezer, as without it we would not be able to continue to provide food for our community.

As one of our FNC friends so beautifully shared, “As we pass through this time of fear, confusion and isolation we are reminded of so many good things that we enjoy. One of those of course is our friends which includes you. It’s so nice to know that even at a distance our friendship continues undiminished.  Friendships can be strong even without the smiles and hugs that we are so used to. These are trying times for many, but it is only for a period of time. We will get through this and in so doing we will learn much about others and more importantly about ourselves.” 

Stay well my friends, may God bless you, keep in touch and in time we will see you all back to enjoy a meal together at the Friday Night Community table. 

Hugs to you,

Lisa 

DINNER WITH A PERFECT STRANGER by David Gregory

If you liked THE SHACK, you will love this book.

“ Here’s a wonderful feast for the mind and soul! Pull up a chair and eavesdrop on this provocative conversation. If you are like me, you’ll hear questions that match your own- and answers that can change your life.” Lee Stroebel, authour of A CASE FOR CHRIST.

“ I predict this little book will become a classic…. that people read to kindle or rekindle faith.

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger is truly a wonderful book that makes me feel I’v heard the gospel for the very first time.”

Friday Night Community- COVID 19 update

Hi friends,

In this time of fear and uncertainty, we believe that compassion is as important as ever.  While we take care of ourselves and our families and ensure that we are doing everything needed to care for our health, we are committed to responding in a way that demonstrates the power of generosity and the confident hope we have in God.  We can help to decrease some of the fear that many are experiencing as the grocery store shelves continue to empty, community meals and support programs close and people begin to self-isolate.  As a community we are choosing to share what we have with those around us who may be scared, hungry and alone.

As we look toward the coming week, we do not anticipate that we will be sharing a Friday meal together.  At our smaller gathering this past week there was great anxiety and uncertainty about what is to come.  We collected contacts from over 100 of our friends who asked that we keep in touch with them.  We know that some of our friends are struggling with physical and mental health challenges in addition to food insecurity and don’t have enough to provide for themselves or their families.  We are planning on continuing to prepare food which we will provide as takeout throughout the week in order that our friends can continue to access what they need.  We also plan to do regular phone check ins so friends are not isolated and we can better understand and meet the changing needs.

Here are some ways that you can help:

1) Offer your time in helping us to prepare/clean up, package and label take home meals throughout the week.

2) Offer to buddy with 2-5 of our Friday Night Community friends to check in regularly by phone and/or e-mail. If you learn that food or other items are needed you will let us know and we will have you communicate a pick up or drop off location.

3) Be available during a scheduled time during the week for when friends come to pick up their take home meals. (Safety precautions will be put in place for the exchange of food).

4) Purchase take home containers (we will need an abundance) or bulk food that we can use to prepare the meals (vegetables, fruit, meat, rice, cheese and other snacks, etc.) to help us keep our costs down.

5) Help us to find needed items for our friends (baby wipes for a new baby due tomorrow, diapers of all sizes, adult Depends, paper towel, Kleenex, toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, spray cleaners).  Many of our friends have not been able to access and purchase these supplies which are now in high demand. We are also in need of gently used microwaves to make it easier for some friends to warm up the already prepared meals.  This can all be dropped off at Wellington Square (2121 Caroline St. during office hours or contact me about an alternative plan)

6) Pray for our most vulnerable friends over the upcoming days and weeks.

Thank you for caring for our friends and continuing to show compassion in a very difficult time.  

Please keep in touch in letting us know how you are doing as we will miss not meeting, sharing a meal and friendship. Lisa and the Friday Night Community Team 

‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.’ ~Philippians 2:3-4