Our gifts for Mission & Service support food, health, and wellness programs at ministries like St. Paul’s Family Resource Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We tend to think of food banks as something relatively new. This may be true in some places, but not in Halifax, where there is a long history of helping those who need support.

For example, after the War of 1812, there were soup kitchens in downtown Halifax. Samuel Cunard (who founded the Cunard Steamship Company, at one time the largest steamship company in the world) worked at that soup kitchen. He and his wife, Susan, donated food and then served it to the hungry. This is a long way from modern food banks, although the need for food is still as great as it was back in the 19th century.

The Family Resource Centre, which is an outreach ministry of St. Paul’s United Church in Spryfield, Nova Scotia, offers more services than a food bank: clients can sit at the Food Bank Café and have coffee and a snack while waiting to pick up their order, rather than waiting out in the cold or rain. The centre also offers a volunteer income tax service to those with limited income, and Legal Aid is often on hand to address concerns individuals may have. The Food, Fitness and Fun class is always being fine-tuned, and there are nursing students on hand to offer advice on health and nutrition. We are thankful for the many ways St. Paul’s Family Resource Centre offers a place of welcome and support to those who come through its doors.

If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.

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