Last March at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brad Hales, then executive director of the Elgin Street Mission, advised me that the weekend cook had taken a leave of absence because of the virus.

He needed food for the next four weekends and likely beyond. We established a Food Fund. We asked the community for approximately $1,500 a weekend to provide 400 meals on Saturdays and Sundays.

In typical Sudbury fashion, people generously donated. The donors reflected the diversity of caring in our community, including church groups, service clubs, businesses, unions, youth groups and private citizens.

In total, the Mission’s Food Fund received more than $85,000. The Tim Horton’s Group owned by the MacKenzie Family provided the Saturday meal of a sandwich, soup and doughnut. They donated $800 worth of soup each weekend, representing more than $40,000 worth of soup.

Great Lakes Pizza (Regent St. location) manager Kevin Thomas provided the Sunday meal with a 40-per-cent discount and 10 free pies every week — that’s more than 22,000 slices of pizza.

Feb. 27-28 was the last weekend sponsored by the Food Fund. COVID-19 could not conquer the generous hearts and helping hands of Sudburians whose caring was evident in their sharing.

I have always acknowledged in the Lord’s prayer that we were taught to ask for “daily bread” not weekly, monthly,or yearly bread. It reminds me that “feeding the hungry” is a daily commitment that is not finished with the Food Fund’s money.

Pastor Amanda Robichaud is the executive director of the Mission. She calculates it costs $250 a month to feed a person at the Mission. As the municipality, province and country prepare their budgets with big numbers that require significant zeroes and commas, maybe each of us could make a budget commitment to feed the hungry at the mission.

Your provision of daily bread will make you a prayer answered – and that feels good, because it is good.

Please make cheques payable to the Elgin Street Mission or go online at www.themission.ca. For further information call the Mission at (705) 673-2163 or Gerry Lougheed at (705) 673-3611.

Article By: Gerry Lougheed – www.sudbury.com

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