The “Saturday Suppers@Stirling” program, which started in November 2013, is based at Stirling Ave Mennonite Church and provides a “hot meal and warm fellowship” each Saturday evening (November through April) to approximately 160 to 180 guests. We open for coffee and fellowship at 5:00 pm. Supper is served between 5:30 and 7:30 pm. Guests may continue to fellowship until the doors close at 8:00 pm.
While we do see some guests who are “living rough” (i.e. homeless), we’ve found that the majority of our guests are persons who are precariously housed. That is, they do have a (reasonably) safe place to sleep, but they are people whose financial and other support systems are limited and shaky. The “warm fellowship and hot meal” provided each Saturday evening is, we believe, part of what enables these individuals and families to stay housed. The fact that they are able to eat for free helps to ensure that they do have funds available for rent. The fact that the food served is very nutritious helps to ensure that they do have at least some healthy meals. And, perhaps most importantly for many of our guests, the warm and welcoming atmosphere helps them to connect with a caring community, helping to support their mental health.
Volunteers come primarily from the four supporting churches, but also from other congregations and the broader community. We welcome new volunteers. Please contact Lou Murray Gorvett, our volunteer coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are interested in joining our volunteer roster.
The Saturday Suppers@Stirling program is supported by four Mennonite congregations: First Mennonite Church, Rockway Mennonite Church, Pioneer Park Christian Fellowship, and Stirling Ave Mennonite Church. Financial support comes primarily from these congregations, as well as occasional donations from community members and other congregations. As a member of the Food Bank of Waterloo Region, the Saturday Suppers@Stirling program also access the Food Bank for some of the food that we cook and serve. Donations are welcomed, and can be sent to the Stirling Ave Mennonite Church office, 57 Stirling Ave North, Kitchener N2H 3G4, designated to “Saturday Suppers” .