Posted by: Peter McCourt
Supper’s on at Southminster United Church again this fall, with doors opening October 14, 2023, to welcome all to come in Out-of-the-Cold.
Started as a pilot project in 1998, Out-of-the-Cold offers conversation and companionship along with a free home-cooked meal in a safe and warm environment. Previous years have seen families, couples and singles, newcomers and neighbours gathered around the table – even a regular meet-up of needlepoint crafters.
Coffee and tea and something sweet are on offer when doors open at 3 pm, with a three-course meal featuring hot chicken or beef to follow between 4 pm and 5 pm. A vegetarian option is always available.
Guest numbers were down overall last year from pre-COVID and pre-construction years at Southminster, although attendance increased gradually through the season. More food was prepared than served but nothing was wasted. Guests received second portions and extra meals were taken to food programs in Centretown.
Organizers are prepared for larger numbers this year and are asking Old Ottawa South to help get the word out to individuals and social networks to support those experiencing the pinch of high food costs and economic stress.
The success of the program has always rested on its community support. Monetary support has largely come from Individuals, Trinity Anglican and St. Matthew’s Anglican and other churches in Ottawa, and businesses within Old Ottawa South or serving the community. The Clothes Secret has a long relationship with the program while Life of Pie serves up pie once a month.
Helen Keller provides us with a memorable quote that speaks to this community and others who help:
“Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Mel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter McCourt is a member of the OTC Organizing Committee and an OOS resident.
Featured in the October 2023 OSCAR. Feature image of Southminster Church by Brendan McCoy.