Yarmouth’s 100 Meals gets national honours
Second edition of meal-a-day project started Dec. 3
A community initiative that was a hit at the local level when it was introduced in Yarmouth last winter has been recognized nationally.
The Town of Yarmouth got second place in a municipal innovation award program in recognition of the town’s 100 Meals project.
The initiative consisted of 100 community meals on 100 consecutive days. Close to 6,000 meals were served during the project’s inaugural edition a year ago.
The second edition of the 100 Meals began Dec. 3 and is scheduled to go until March 12.
“To be recognized nationally was humbling,” said Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood. “It wasn’t about the award. It was about making sure that we could feed people.”
The national award came with a $500 monetary prize, which the town decided would go to the HOPE Centre, one of the organizations taking part in the 100 Meals program.
“I think it’s important to note that every organization that’s involved has stepped up,” Mayor Mood said. “We had to choose one recipient.”
She said the people at the HOPE Centre – the site of the first meal for the second edition of the 100 Meals initiative on Dec. 3 – have been great participants in the 100 Meals effort and have “opened their doors wide open” in support of the project.
The idea behind the 100 Meals was to try to help people at what can be a tough time of year, although the meals are open to everyone.
“Sometimes there are families of (for example) four children and the parents,” the mayor said. “There are seniors. There are all kinds of folks, and it is a community meal ... It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are. You’re just welcome.”
The mayor said she was grateful to Natalie Smith, economic development officer with the Town of Yarmouth, for nominating the town for the national award. Aside from being innovative, the project had to be one that could be done elsewhere.
“One of the (criteria) was that you had to be able to do it in another community,” Mayor Mood said, “and I can’t imagine a community that wouldn’t want to give this a go.”
From left: June Fiander, Joy Sweeney, Trent Whittaker and Bob Comeau preparing lunch at Yarmouth Wesleyan Church on Dec. 20, part of the Town of Yarmouth’s 100 Meals program for 2018-19.