Most of us are aware of the Soupateria which serves soup, sandwiches, and often extras, on a daily basis, in the Anglican church hall in Penticton. Its website says, “(It) was started in 1986 through an

ecumenical group that saw a need for providing a hot meal to those in need. It was located in an old kitchen on the lower level of St. Savior’s Anglican Church.”

This setting proved to be inadequate. “But with generous contributions of the local Rotary Club, the South Okanagan Community Foundation, the Vancouver Foundation, and many individual donors, the new building (on Anglican Church property) became a reality.”

With the co-operation from other

churches, individuals, some being from businesses, volunteers have kept it going by donating their time and energy each week.

St. Savior’s Anglican Church also has a “free store” where, as an article in the Herald on September 15 mentioned,

“...people can pick up much needed clothes, especially for children. The church also launched a “Community Meals Program.”

It was this initiative that drew the attention of “100 men who care” (title of Sept. 15 article). Back in June, “...37 new members showed up and in less than an hour, $3,700 was raised, with all of the funds going to local area charitable organizations.

The men heard presentations from three organizations and were obviously most impressed with the “Community Needs Program”. The Anglican church received 80 per cent ($2,960) of the money the men had raised, for that program.

The article mentioned, “Many families struggle with the daily needs most of us take for granted: shelter, bills, transportation, school supplies for their children, clothing and food. In some cases, good food takes a back seat to the more pressing necessities.”

As Pat Simons (co-ordinator of the Community Meals Program) said, “The program will focus on families who might need some help, perhaps don’t get the opportunity to meet others on a social basis and build that important sense of community among families, a network where they can help support each other. The Community Meals Program will give them that opportunity. We hope they can also tap into the free store....”

The church’s minister, Rev. Canon Mike Stuchbery added, “We plan to run the Community Meals Program every second Tuesday of the month and will be providing tickets to be distributed to families through Birthright International, Pathways Addiction Resource Centre and Torch Youth Ministries, three agencies that work with youth and families in the area. Initially we will work with 25 families and our hope is to eventually expand the program to twice a month.”

While some of the above comments were already mentioned in the Sept. 15 article in the Herald, I believe it is worth lifting up what St. Saviour’s Anglican Church has been, and is, doing to respond to needs in our community.

We have the opportunity to support or be involved in some of their initiatives, or to find ways in which we can support other needs in our community.

May it be so for us!

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