For over a decade, an interfaith club made up of five groups in Brantford, Ont., has provided a weekly supper to people in need. And in February, they received certificates of appreciation from the Muslim Board of Brantford for their years of collaborative service to the community.
The partners involved — Sydenham Heritage United, The Church of God, The Community Spirit, the Sikh Community (assisted by St. George United) and the Muslim Community — take turns planning, preparing and serving a nutritious meal every Sunday. The program runs from November to May, and about 400 volunteers served over 2,400 guests last year alone. The food is donated by a local food bank and the municipal government.
In 2005, congregants at then-Sydenham United realized that there were no Sunday meals in Brantford for those in need, so they started hosting one during the winter. They asked other local religious groups if they wanted to lend a hand.
Larry Eddy, the club’s chair, has been involved since the beginning and says that it’s helped people get back on their feet. He mentions one young man, an alcoholic and a drug user who started attending when he lost his job and became homeless. “With the support and assistance of the Sunday supper club,” says Eddy, “he was able to break the cycle. He is now sober, has a job and a home. He sometimes comes back to volunteer with us.”
At least two romantic partnerships formed, and the couples are now married. “It’s become a hub for the community,” Eddy says.
(All photos: Giordano Ciampini)