The Take-Out Meal ministry will be taking a pause beginning July 30. The last meal this summer will be served on Wednesday, July 29.
Gratitude is perhaps the best word to describe what we’ve been able to be part of with the Take Out Meal ministry at Knox these past four months since the pandemic began:
To all our guests: please let your friends know about our decision to pause the Take-Out meal. Also, continue to check our website (knoxottawa.ca) and church sign for updates about opportunities at Knox as well as updates on meals and other supports in Centretown.
The Knox Out of the Cold program has operated from November to March for twenty-five years, welcoming our guests into the church for a warm meal. With the pandemic of Covid-19 and consequent disruptions, it was clear that the need would continue for several weeks beyond the usual break, but had to be in a different, physically-distanced format. It would be important to protect everyone, volunteers and guests alike, from the virus. Some volunteers were in so-called “high-risk” groups, and were advised to withdraw; most did so only reluctantly. Into their places stepped members of the Community Association, willingly and enthusiastically. Extra funding was offered early on, to ensure that the ministry could continue. Food items were also given, stretching the donated money further. Volunteers prepared the food and distributed it, always being aware of the public health requirements.
As businesses closed and activity generally decreased, the program was extended month by month. Now, as the city moves slowly toward increased activity, the program will pause and prepare for the next phase. We hope and pray there will not be a resurgence, but will consider how to respond if necessary. The summer pause of our Take Out Meal ministry at this time will help position us well for whatever form of the Out of the Cold program we might be able to offer later this Fall, both in terms of finances and volunteer support. We are already considering how our traditional Out of the Cold can be done when it resumes. There is no doubt it will be different, but the details will depend on the progress of the pandemic and whether it is controlled.
Our thanks go to all who have helped, who are too many to name; some we believe important to mention include Faulkner Realty, Massine’s Your Independent Grocer, and Johnny Farina Restaurant. We are also very grateful for the many dedicated volunteers through the Centretown Community Association. You make us proud to be part of a city and community that so obviously cares about its needy members. Your energy and commitment has been super and we hope you’ll consider offering your assistance again when we are able to restart a meal program in whatever form is possible.
God Bless you all.
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