Sec­ond edi­tion of Yar­mouth’s 100 Meals to start Dec. 3

Lunch at HOPE Cen­tre will kick off the fol­low-up to last win­ter’s ini­tia­tive

Tri-County Vanguard - - NEWS - ERIC BOURQUE THEVANGUARD.CA

About a year ago, Yar­mouth’s 100 Meals ini­tia­tive was launched. It was an ef­fort to pro­vide 100 com­mu­nity meals daily for 100 days. The re­sponse was tremen­dous. Now the stage has been set to do it once more.

“The suc­cess of the 100 Meals far sur­passed any­thing we had imag­ined, so we are go­ing to do it again,” Yar­mouth Mayor Pam Mood said.

The ini­tia­tive’s sec­ond edi­tion is sched­uled to kick off Dec. 3 with lunch at the HOPE Cen­tre in the town’s south end.

“I think we started just be­fore Christ­mas last year, so we are be­tween two and three weeks ear­lier (this time),” the mayor said.

Not­ing some lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions have com­mu­nity meals – per­haps on a weekly or monthly ba­sis – Mood says the idea is to build on what those groups are do­ing so that there will be a com­mu­nity meal ev­ery day for the 100-day pe­riod start­ing Dec. 3.

Re­flect­ing on how the idea for the ini­tia­tive first came to her, the mayor re­calls be­ing in her of­fice one week and get­ting sev­eral phone calls from peo­ple who said they were strug­gling. It was a mat­ter of pay­ing for med­i­ca­tion or putting food on the table, the mayor was told. Or maybe it was a choice be­tween pay­ing a power bill and putting food on the table.

She saw the 100 Meals pro­ject as a way to give peo­ple a hand.

“It was ba­si­cally a call-out to the com­mu­nity ... to just say, you know what, we need to do this,” she said. “We need to help each other, and they showed up in droves.”

But it’s about more than just of­fer­ing peo­ple a meal, she said, cit­ing the so­cial and com­mu­nity as­pect of this en­deav­our.

Re­fer­ring to the first 100 Meals pro­ject, she said, “We had se­niors come out that told us they hadn’t been out of their house, out of their homes, in quite some time. Friends were pick­ing up friends. We had a young man who was home­less who came to a meal and found a place to live from some­body at the next table. Those are amaz­ing com­mu­nity things that are hap­pen­ing.”

Dona­tions are still needed to help with the sec­ond edi­tion of the 100 Meals ini­tia­tive. Tax re­ceipts can be made avail­able to those who write a cheque. Peo­ple also can con­trib­ute by at­tend­ing one of the meals and per­haps mak­ing a do­na­tion there.

The mayor in­vites all cit­i­zens to be a part of this pro­ject, whether it’s by com­ing out for a meal or by mak­ing a do­na­tion to sup­port the ini­tia­tive or both.

“We do want to en­cour­age the en­tire com­mu­nity,” she said. “Bring your fam­ily out. It’s for ev­ery­one.”

CARLA ALLEN

Shirley De­veau and An­dre Michel pre­par­ing lunch at the HOPE Cen­tre last win­ter as part of Yar­mouth’s in­au­gu­ral 100 Meals ini­tia­tive. The pro­ject is be­ing un­der­taken a sec­ond time, start­ing Dec. 3, and the HOPE Cen­tre is the kick­off lo­ca­tion.

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