Seeds of Hope in Bloom: Transitional Housing Meal Support Program
Addressing Barriers to Food Security
Wellington Square United Church recognized key accessibility barriers for those living in emergency transitional housing in Ontario’s Halton Region: residents using these facilities (such as shelters and emergency hotel programs) often did not have access to cooking infrastructure. To address this gap, the church launched the Emergency Transitional Housing meal program/Meal Bag with the support of a Seeds of Hope grant. Through providing food, prepared meals, and other necessities, the initiative reduces food security concerns for those living in transitional housing. “These needs were uncovered during the pandemic, which opened up our doors and hearts for supporting this important initiative,” says Lisa Lunski, Director of Community Food Programs. “The Seeds of Hope grant helped us to… provide prepared meals and other much needed support to over 60 individuals.”
Volunteers prepare food 3-4 times each week in health-inspected facilities and bring to the shelter for the residents to access. Check out this video of their team in action: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rUW4v07-9s. The program provides Comfort Kits (Kleenex, hand soap, paper towel, dish soap and cloth, water bottle, sanitary wipes, etc.) for all new intakes, hygiene packs, diapers, baby food, as well as snack bags and juice boxes for children who attend school. In their permanent location, they now have a fridge, freezer, and shelving stocked with ready-to-eat meals, drinks, produce, bread, and other items. Serving mainly women and children, the program has become one of the main food sources in Wesley Shelter in Burlington. “I truly want to thank each and every one of you for all your hard work to keep us fed. My family thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” shares a resident.
Let’s Get YOUR Project Funded
The United Church of Canada Foundation offers a wide variety of grant opportunities for United Church of Canada organizations and individuals to bring life to the vital ministry of the United Church and beyond. Do you have an amazing project like the Emergency Transitional Housing Program in need of funding? Apply today, and get planting some seeds of hope! Applications for our Spring 2023 round are due April 15. You can also view our webinar ‘How to Apply for Grants with the Foundation’.
We are always available if you need help completing your application, or have any further questions. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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