Volunteers and caring residents helped prevent dozens of the city’s most vulnerable from going hungry at lunch Saturday after a water main break forced the Friendship Inn to shut down.
“This is just truly amazing. I can’t thank the city enough,” director Sandra Stack said.
Stack said she received a call at 7:30 a.m. telling her the soup kitchen’s water had been shut off due to a break in the line. Water has since been restored, but a boil water advisory will stay in effect for the rest of the weekend.
Without washrooms or potable water, the centre couldn’t prepare its usual hot lunches or allow its clients inside. Volunteers rushed to prepare hundreds of bagged lunches while the centre put out a call to residents to help them prepare 1,000 meals.
A patchy stream of donations brought bananas, water bottles, cookies, and homemade sandwiches to the centre’s back door.
“I just touched an egg salad sandwich that I know is still warm right from a grandma’s house. A little girl has helped her mom make sandwiches,” Stack said. “This is philanthropy at its best.”
Rather than sitting at tables, those that lined up outside were handed brown lunch bags at the door and told the centre was closed.
The centre is still accepting donations until 3 p.m. Saturday because they will need more meals for Sunday’s breakfast and lunch.