“St. Jude’s hosted a meeting on February 8, 2018 to introduce Lana Luk, new Executive Director for Restore Canada, to the Oakville churches which are participating in the Restore Program”
Shown in the photo are (L-R) Gary O’Neill, Executive Director, Kerr Street Mission (and delivery partner for Restore in Halton Region), Linda Hillier, Evangel Pentecostal Church, Caroline Glasbey, Chartwell Baptist Church, Nancy Sully, King’s Community Church, Sandra Onufryk, Maple Grove United Church, Rev. Rob Fead, Kerri Fuller, The Sanctuary, Kevin Farrell, Restore care planner, St. Jude’s, Lana Luk, Restore Canada Executive Director, Heino Claessens, Georgetown Ministerial Association (Community Unity/Jubilee), Peter Stamp, Restore Canada Board member, Drew Bucknall, Justice & Servant ministries, St. Jude’s, and Ian Sutcliffe, Restore Canada Board Member. Not pictured: Blair Richardson, St. Jude’s.
2017 Annual Report to Vestry at St. Jude’s Church – By Justice and Servant Ministries
Following a recommendation of the Rector and supported by Parish Council, Justice and Servant Ministries adopted a mandate focussing on food ministry in 2010:
“To mobilize the resources and engage the members of the Parish, focussing these on the problem of hunger/malnutrition amongst families and individuals in Oakville and in Itabo, Cuba, (where we have a partner church, St. Mary the Virgin), and working in partnership with a few selected community agencies.”
The Team’s role initially was to work with the food partners, to review a list of projects proposed by the food partners, and to choose the ones most suitable for St. Jude’s to support with both grants and volunteer resources. The Team’s recommendations for grants to food partners were included in its budget and subsequently have been approved by the Corporation on an annual basis. In addition to grants recommendations, the Team managed the start-up of each project. The Team’s continuing role includes recruiting volunteers, designating leadership, and working closely with food partners. The J&SM Team is also responsible for communicating regularly with the congregation, to keep it informed of progress. The scope of programs and volume of program activity have both continued to grow. Our progress in 2017 is described below.
- Restore Method of Care Program
Care Coordinator: Blair Richardson
Restore equips churches to help people in distress “cross a bridge” to a healthier, less-dependent and sustainable life. The philosophy is that people experiencing poverty and distress want a hand up, rather than a hand-out. Restore helps people to understand and access the resources available to them and it fills the gaps where formal and informal services are not available. Restore was successfully launched by a group of churches in Markham and then was replicated in Halton Region. Nine churches in Oakville are participating, under the leadership of Kerr Street Mission as the Delivery Partner in Halton. Stanley Redwood, Restore Area Director for Halton Region, is employed at Kerr Street Mission and provides leadership and support to our volunteers.
In Halton Region in 2017, 67 volunteers were trained, there were 112 requests for help and 98 clients were assisted. At St. Jude’s, four volunteers were trained in 2017. There were six requests for help and six clients have received, or are continuing to receive, assistance. We have three care planners: Kevin Farrell, Bob VanDriel and Peter Stamp, who is also a member of the Board for Restore Canada.
- Monday Night Dinners at Kerr Street Mission
Program Coordinator: Carol Lowes, along with Ann Mulvale and Ashley Trapman
Monday nights are family night at KSM, and St. Jude’s provided a family dinner each month, excepting July and August. The number of people attending each month ranged between 55 and 85 guests. A team of approximately 20 volunteers rotates monthly to cook and serve. The Monday night team prepares enough food to serve 90 – 100 guests. If we have fewer guests, then we will give a second helping or food in containers to take home. Our team of volunteers provides a nutritious meal: beef and chicken casseroles, salad, roasted vegetables, plain rice and strawberries and ice cream for dessert. Carol has changed the menus a little to make them more appealing to the children, who are half the guests. Late in the year, problems with the kitchen appliances limited us to using only one of two stoves, but the donation of a new cooker has solved this problem.
KSM is really appreciative and they say that our guests do look forward to the dinners. Our guests like the buffet-style setting, with pretty tablecloths and colour-coordinated napkins, all of which makes the evening more festive.
- Thursday Night Dinners at Kerr Street Mission
Team Leader: Robin Woollard
The Thursday Night dinner team, about 20 each month from a pool of 40 volunteers, continue to have great fun, whilst looking after and catering for about 100 guests once a month. We maintained our “fresh food policy” despite rising food prices, and continued to offer a choice of three main courses. A “restaurant’ atmosphere and interaction with our guests remain a priority and St. Jude’s night is always popular and well-attended.
Again this year, we had the privilege of hosting “Live on Kerr”, the major showcase and fundraiser for KSM. This was a resounding success and the fundraising has helped to put KSM on a firm financial footing.
This year, a number of volunteers: Lottie and David Clark, Aggie and John McLaren and Doug Field have stepped down, after many years of devoted effort. Brandon Laurenco is a new volunteer and thanks are due to his father, Noel Laurenco, from Boffo’s Butchers on Kerr Street, for his help and very generous support over this year.
- Wednesday Food For Life Outreach Program
Program Coordinator: Rev. Deanne Keatings
In 2017, our team of 46 volunteers (the largest number yet!) received, sorted, and hand-delivered over 40,000 pounds of food to 151 persons (including 74 children and teens) in the Margaret and Maurice Drive community. This food is delivered weekly to St. Jude’s by Food For Life, and is supplemented one week per month with 10 boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables, purchased from the Halton Fresh Food Box Program. We have been able to support several Restore clients and our Newcomer Family, too.
In addition to our regular parish volunteers, we welcomed participants from “Family Options”, an organization which provides services and supports to adults with developmental disabilities, and their families. We hope that they have been as blessed by their volunteer experience as we have felt having them here with us. Working together, our team was able to provide each family with a grocery supplement averaging 55 family meals per month, which translates to 660 family meals per household (our largest number yet) in 2017. Grants from St. Jude’s also enabled us once more to donate 72 bags of fresh produce from the Halton Fresh Food Box Program to Kerr Street Mission, in support of their cooking ministry.
- Summer Weekly Barbecue at Margaret/Maurice Drive
Program Coordinator: Blair Richardson, Maryam Bobbo and Marlene Fairbairn
For the fifth summer in a row, volunteers from St. Jude have provided a weekly BBQ in July and August to the families residing in the Margaret/Maurice Drive complex. The purpose of the program is to:
- Promote socialization and community engagement amongst all residents at the HCHC housing complex;
- Promote socialization between residents and church volunteers;
- Provide different crafts, arts and other activities for kids and teens; and
- Provide fresh-grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, beverages and other food items to residents
Each week, a team of 12 from a roster of 40 volunteers buys, prepares and cooks the hot dogs, chicken, veggie and beef hamburgers with all the trimmings, under the leadership of a Team Captain. Our partner, Frontline Outreach, provides the BBQ‘s, tables and equipment and delivers the refrigerated meat portion of the BBQ. Unfortunately, for the first time ever, three weeks were cancelled due to thunderstorms!
Several changes were introduced in 2017. Maryam Bobbo, a resident in the Margaret/Maurice Drive complex, became a co-leader for the BBQ Program and helped with communications and volunteer recruitment among residents. There is a newly-constructed gazebo near the BBQ location, with lots of shaded picnic table seating. The new gazebo enabled residents to sit comfortably and converse as they ate their hot dogs and hamburgers. ArtHouse, Oakville Galleries and the YMCA took turns providing activities for the kids in the neighborhood, and Rolling Horse provided a bike clinic, featuring free repairs and tune-ups for bicycles. This was popular!
- Lyon’s Lane Vegetable Garden Plot
Program Coordinator: Michael Nightingale
Now we have two adjacent garden plots for the entire season, and the four volunteers – Mike Lanning, Austin Hazlett, Lynton Smith and Michael Nightingale– harvested 573 pounds of assorted vegetables, all of which were delivered to Kerr Street Mission for distribution to their clients. The harvest represented a significant increase over the 260 pounds from the 2016 season! Our goal for 2018 is 700 pounds, a target that will be within reach with good weather. We will count on contributions from other plot-holders at Lyon’s Lane who have excess produce, because several of them have supported us in past seasons. Furthermore, each year our plans and plantings improve, as we observe what others are doing.
- Annual Expenditures and Grants to Community Partners
Accountant: Roger Beach
Total expenditures in 2017 were $16,225, against an approved budget of $19,000. Expenditures for the KSM dinner program totalled $8,029. Purchases from the Halton Fresh Food Box Program totalled $2,900. Expenditures for the Summer BBQ Program totalled $1,968. Food For Life received a grant of $4,000, to help defray part of their costs for pick-up, storage and transportation of food to St. Jude’s.
Expenditures were below budget for two main reasons. First, in March, we reduced the number of fresh food boxes purchased each month from 15 to 10, as a result of the decrease in the number of families served by the Wednesday Food For Life Outreach Program. Second, three of the Summer BBQ’s were cancelled due to thunderstorms, reducing the expenditures on food.
- Support for New Affordable Housing
DQI (Design Quorum Inc.) has been a design firm in Oakville for 30 years, doing single family residential, multi-family residential, and commercial projects. DQI has also done several volunteer projects, including the construction of the gazebo at Margaret/Maurice Drive. At the request of the principals, St. Jude’s provided a letter of support for their proposed project, “Margaret Garden Community”, which is to build four separate six-unit suite clusters (24 affordable housing suites in total) on land owned by Halton Region on Margaret Drive and zoned for this type of housing.
- New Program Development
The Team is working to introduce a new program, to be called the St. Jude’s Pantry Program. The goal is to produce 100 nutritious frozen meals, packaged in individual servings, each month and then to distribute these to Anglican churches and helping agencies, including KSM, in Oakville. The meals are intended for persons who are homeless, or home-bound and unable to cook for themselves.
A special thank you goes to everyone who volunteered and to our community partners. Overall, it was a very successful year, only made possible through the support and engagement of our committed and enthusiastic volunteers, our partners, our congregation and its leaders.
Respectfully submitted by Justice and Servant Ministries,
Rev. Deanne Keatings , Roger Beach, Drew Bucknall, George Duross, Noreen Duross, Blair Richardson, Peter Stamp, Catherine Farrell