Yar­mouth’s 100 Meals gets na­tional hon­ours

Sec­ond edi­tion of meal-a-day project started Dec. 3

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

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.”

ERIC BOURQUE

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.

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