Food programs are unfortunately now part of the reality of life in Canada as our economy leaves behind many who are unemployed, unemployable or on social assistance. Along with food banks, they provide some relief from the hunger and poor diet of low-income people.
Skyline Rotarians are among regular volunteers at the Monday evening meal at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in downtown Toronto, just opposite Roy Thomson Hall. Each Monday evening a line forms up outside the church on Simcoe Street.
Once they get inside guests sit at tables where they are served a three-course meal. On January 14 the soup was roasted Tomato, the entrees were macaroni and cheese or chicken pot pie served with salad, vegetables and rolls. Dessert was apple crisp with ice cream.
One difference from other meals is that instead of cafeteria-style service, the St. Andrew’s meal operates more like a restaurant, with servers for each round table. While this is volunteer intensive, it gives the whole meal, served in a church hall, a more relaxed feel. There is a corridor with individual chairs outside the main hall, with standing trays for those who would like less noise, and more privacy.
St. Andrew’s has fed as many as 400 in a night with several sittings, but most of the time it is less than half that. The guests seemed very appreciate courteous and friendly for the most part.