The Justice and Servant Ministries (J&SM) Team is responsible for communicating regularly with the congregation, to keep it informed of progress. The scope of programs and volume of program activity continue to grow.
- Thursday Night Dinners at Kerr Street Mission
The Thursday Night dinner team, continue to have great fun, whilst looking after and catering for about 50 guests once a month. We maintained our “fresh food policy” despite rising food prices, and continue 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.
- Wednesday Food For Life Outreach Program
The team of volunteers receive, sort, and hand-deliver to families in the Margaret and Maurice Drive community. This food is delivered weekly, and is supplemented one week per month with 10 boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables, purchased from the Halton Fresh Food Box Program.
2020 saw many changes to this program reflected in three chapters.
Chapter One saw us operating as usual. Each week, between 15 and 20 volunteers met in Victoria Hall to sort, bag and deliver food to 30-35 families, most of whom live in the Margaret/Maurice Drive housing complex.
Chapter Two started in mid-March with our having suspended our participation due to COVID-19. Fortunately, Food For Life, our food partner, stepped in and continued delivery to our client families without interruption. Starting in July, a manager from Halton Community Housing Corporation coordinated the efforts of volunteers from the Oakville YMCA to continue the deliveries. During this time, two volunteers from St Jude’s continued deliveries to three of our clients. Food For Life was a true partner during this trying time.
In September, we started Chapter Three. A group of St Jude’s volunteers once again took over the deliveries. Each week, Food For Life delivers prepackaged generic food bags to a parking lot in the Maurice/Margaret Drive community. A group of 10 to 12 volunteers deliver the bags to our client families. Since early October, we’ve been augmenting the FFL deliveries with “extra protein” – typically a block of cheese or a dozen eggs per family.
Now ten years old, our program has grown tremendously this year. In March, we were helping 32 families; we now deliver to 42 families. In 2019, we delivered 32,200 pounds of food; in 2020, deliveries grew to 48,400 pounds.
In addition to our regular parish volunteers, we welcome volunteers from within the community.
- Summer Weekly Barbecue at Margaret/Maurice Drive
Volunteers from St. Jude provide a weekly BBQ in July and August for 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 volunteers buy, prepares and cooks the hot dogs, chicken, veggie and beef hamburgers with all the trimmings, under the leadership of a Team Captain.
Lyon’s Lane Vegetable Garden Plot
We have two adjacent garden plots and several regular volunteers. They harvest hundreds of pounds of assorted vegetables, all of which are delivered to Kerr Street Mission for distribution to their clients. We also receive produce contributions from other plot-holders at Lyon’s Lane who have excess.
- 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.
St. Simon’s and St. Jude’s Pantry Program:
The Pantry Program Team of volunteers produced approximately 120 meals (in 60 two-serving meal containers). These meals are intended for persons who are homeless, or homebound or unable to cook for themselves. The meals are made at St. Simon’s Church, frozen and then delivered to community agencies and churches.
A special thank you goes to everyone who volunteered and to our community partners. It is very successful, only made possible through the support and engagement of our committed and enthusiastic volunteers, our partners, our congregation and its leaders.