Meals To The Street
“If you two can come together to make and serve a meal to me, then I have hope!”
– A homeless man on the streets of Montreal, winter 2017, after being served by the Reverend Canon Steven Mackison and Imam Musabbir Alam
Meals to the Street is the first fruits of Civitasx and represents the desire of Faith Communities to serve the poor and homeless by bringing them food and compassion where they live. The initiative began in March, 2017.
On the third Saturday of every month, more than 40 volunteers have gathered together to make 300 halal chicken shawarmas and package them with oranges, cookies, and a bottle of water. After a brief orientation we then divide into 5 groups and bring the meals to the streets with a smile and a friendly ear so that we might deepen relationships with those we serve and with each other.
We have delivered more than…
Cups of hummus
In short, nearly 3100 meals and countless compassionate conversations.
So, you might think that this project is about the food. You’d be wrong. “Meals to the Street” is about so much more.
It’s about people:
- of all ages – from 6 years old to over 80
- at all stages of life – students, job seekers, young professionals, professionals, and retirees
- with different professional backgrounds – including medical doctors, research scientists, business leaders, lawyers, teachers and even a city councillor
- from many faiths – including Christians, Muslims, Jews, agnostics [and probably a few atheists]
- from many countries – Pakistan, Bangladesh, Somalia, Romania, Canada, US, France, Colombia, El Salvador among others, and
- from those who are homeless and living on the streets to those in the 1%.
It’s about listening and learning, getting to know each other, no matter where we’re from and doing something that matters to each of us and to the community at large.
As we watch this vibrant and vital ministry grow our hope for the future is “serving abundantly”: to have more faith communities offering more meals at more times and in more places