Learning to see one another beyond stereotypes can be difficult, and that is why the Centre was inspired to create a new recipe for providing food security: The Dinner Club. Building on the belief that every person has skills to contribute, the club meets weekly and invites neighbours receiving services, as well as those volunteering, to prepare, cook, and eat dinner, together.
By eliminating roles of those serving or being served, the club allows neighbours to begin relationships as equals, sharing in a task central to every human being – eating a meal! Developing relationships through the club not only encourages our neighbours self-worth, motivating them towards their goals, but it also allows staff to build trust, enabling them to work more closely with neighbours to reach those goals.
Since its first meal in September 2014, we have witnessed participant’s transition from living in shelters to their own basement suites; from being short tempered and negative, to hard-working and confident in their ability to make positive change in their lives. And, we’ve witnessed people, with very different stories and lifestyles, become neighbours and friends.