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Wellington Square United's community food program is more than a meal

Each week, more than 200 people are fed by the church, with an additional 100 meals delivered around town.
A team of volunteers cooks more than 200 meals each week for guests at Wellington Square.

Wellington Square United Church’s community food program is more than a bite a few times a week, it’s a group of people who are eager to get there and spend time with one another. 

Each Friday, more than 200 people gather at the church for a hot lunch which is open to everyone.

“It is a meal, but not just a meal,”  Lisa Lunski, director of the community food program, says. “It’s a way to get people connected and caring for one another, and walking together in life.”

The lunch was originally a dinner that started in 2009 after a group from the church built on the type of free meal offered by St. Christopher’s. During the pandemic, the meal switched to a food delivery service twice a week. Now the dinner is swapped for a lunch once a week. 

Food isn’t the only thing on offer either, people who join in are free to use the church to socialize, sleep, or just stay out of the weather. 

“People can connect in the hub before food is served from noon to 2 p.m.,” Lunski says. “There’s the dining room, and an overflow area because it can be overwhelming for some to go in there. Plus, we just needed extra space.”

The weekly meal is also only one aspect of how the community food program feeds people. Twice a week, ready made meals are sent out around town to those who have difficulty with prepping their own food. 

Though the price of groceries – and most other services – has increased in the last few years, Lunski says that change has not impacted their service much. 

“We do our due diligence, and we say if it’s about needing food, then we give,” Lunski says. “We send people to the food bank, the Salvation Army, Food for Life, there are other options for that. But we do our due diligence to ensure people are able to prepare their own food.”

All are welcome at the community food program’s weekly lunches, or to sign up for the meal delivery service. Usually, those with an insecure or unstable situation are the ones who register for two weekly food deliveries on Mondays and Fridays. Each week, more than 100 meals are sent around town. 

“We are a community of friends, whether you’re a volunteer or a guest,” Lunski says. 

The community food program lunches run each Friday from noon - 2 p.m. Those interested in donating to or contacting the community food program can do so through the Wellington Square United Church website. 


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