Join us every Thursday evening at 5:30 pm January through November.
What can I expect when I get there?
- All are welcome. Adults, seniors and children attend the meal.
- You will be greeted and welcomed when you arrive. Feel free to borrow, or exchange, a book from the bookshelf.
- You are welcome to sit anywhere in the dining area, although there are some people who always sit in the same place. Help yourself to a drink from the beverage table.
- When dinner is ready, the MC will make announcements and then call table numbers. When your table number is called, you are invited to get into the serving line. You will be handed a plate and the servers will offer you each item on the menu. Dessert is either served in the same way or brought to you at your table.
- If you need help with a plate for yourself, or a second plate for a disabled partner or child, we have someone who will help you.
Our Community Meal
Our free weekly dinner began in 2006 to provide food, hospitality and company for people of all ages, means and needs and is attended by over 150 people each week.
Although we have a paid chef, our meal is made and served by volunteers. Our funding comes from Gilmore Park United Church, and personal and community donations. We receive donations of fresh local produce from the Sharing Farm, and other items from Richmond Food Bank and we seek out low-cost food sources such as Quest Food Exchange. See sample menus which reflect the diversity within our community (for download at the bottom of the page).
The Community Meal has many opportunities for volunteering for different age groups, abilities and interests.
Volunteer shifts include:
- prep cooks who start at 1:30 and often work till 5:00
- setting up tables and chairs from 1-3 pm
- table setters from 3:00 to about 4:00 pm
- servers from 5:00 to 6:15 pm
- room clean up from 6:15 to about 7:00 pm
- kitchen clean-up from 6:00 to about 7:45 pm
If you would like to volunteer, please contact the church office or the Volunteer Coordinator.
The Volunteer Coordinator will make an appointment, usually before 5:00 pm on a Thursday, to explain the different aspects of the meal as well as show you the different work areas. You will be given an application form and a volunteer guide (available to download at the bottom of the page).
If you are under the age of 15, a parent or guardian should be with you while you volunteer.
A volunteer schedule (a sample is available to download at the bottom of the page) is made up each week on Monday and e-mailed to volunteers on the list.
If you are sick or for some other reason are not able to attend, it is very important that you contact the Volunteer Coordinator immediately.
For Safety and Hygiene, volunteers are asked to adhere to the following dress code:
- Hair to be tied back securely, and off the face. Hat may also be worn.
- Shirts must have a sleeve; short is OK.
- Pants must be no shorter than 2”/5 cm above the knee. Skirts may be worn; same minimum length as pants. Please no ruffles/long, flowing skirts.
- Shoes must cover toes and top of foot. Socks optional.