St. Paul’s breakfast passes milestone; still going strong
40,000 meals have been served up by Men’s Breakfast Club
Every Saturday morning for the past 13 years, a light flickers on at 6 a.m. in the dining hall at St. Paul’s church.
While most people are rolling over, looking for a bit more rest and relaxation, the first cook arrives. Seven more will join him shortly as the St. Paul’s Men’s Breakfast Club prepares to fry eight pounds of bacon and 40 sausages, toast six loaves of bread, crack 12 dozen eggs and stir up two boxes of pancake batter.
In a typical week, the men will serve 50 to 70 hungry diners.
David Ivey, who has been part of the breakfast team for eight years, said 15 volunteers usually serve food and clean up afterward. The meal preparation, however, is left entirely to the men.
The tradition began in November 2003, when a small group headed by Mert Hambly and Ross Cruikshank met to discuss getting together regularly to do something positive for the Dundas church, themselves and the community.
“I think the idea was twofold,” said Ivey. “(They wanted to create) an outreach to the community and, secondly, create a vehicle where the men of the church could get together and do something.”
Many Saturdays and years later, St. Paul’s Men’s Breakfast Club recently served its 40,000th breakfast.
And over the years, the breakfast has stayed true to its primary goals.
Roughly 10 per cent of the meals are provided to individuals unable to pay. Some diners are members of St. Paul’s, but most are not.
More than $100,000 has been raised for the work of the church, and friendship is still very much part of the Saturday morning ritual.
“A large part of it is still the camaraderie because those of us who do the breakfast have been doing it for a long time,” said Ivey.
“We know each other and can joke around, so there’s still that aspect of it.”
Breakfast is served from 8 to 10 a.m. every Saturday at 29 Park St. W. The menu consists of omelettes, bacon, sausages, toast, pancakes juice, tea or coffee. Prices range from $7 to $10.