Our Mission: To offer welcoming places where food and community meet
Sharing Abundance was registered as a non-profit society in 2008. This year we became a registered charity, offering programs in all three North Shore municipalities and have just finished a two-year community kitchen project in Sechelt.
We offer welcoming places where food and community meet. Our programs address food insecurity and social isolation felt by many members of our community. All of our facilities are wheelchair accessible and close to public transit.
Our guests include all members of the community working and not, families, teens, students, seniors, those on disability pensions, new Canadians and veterans. The community programs are intergenerational and culturally diverse serving many folks on the margins. Everyone is welcome whether they choose to donate towards the cost of their meal or not. Some of our guests volunteer at programs and many of our volunteers join our guests in a meal at their table.
Each program has a chef/program manager who is paid a small stipend to plan, shop, prepare and serve tasty, nutritious meals to our guests. They also keep a record of the number of guests and meal served. The programs would not be possible without the support of the many dedicated volunteers who help us every week at our various locations. Our volunteers are seniors and students.
Sharing Abundance is funded by donations from some of our programs participants, donors and community partners. We received grants from the City of North Vancouver, of District of North Vancouver, the District of West Vancouver and the North Shore Community Foundation. The Lynn Valley Lions Club and Lynn Valley Save on Foods fund our Christmas meals. Sacre-Davey Engineering and Lawyers West are corporate donors, the Royal Canadian Legion Branches 44, 60, 114, and 118, local churches donate as well.
Community partners hosting programs do so without cost keeping our overhead under control. We are also grateful for the support of Cobs Edgemont Bakery, Trumps Bakery, The British Butcher, West Coast Mongrams and the collaborative support of the folks at Table Matters.
Participating in the Local Community
Taking Action on Diocesan Priorities
St. Agnes Anglican and St. Andrew’s United Church have a partnership to provide weekly community lunch at St. Andrew’s Church. Located in the Lonsdale corridor with a large kitchen and hall, St. Andrew’s has an ideal location to house this important ministry. Our goal was to create a new program with new funders so that the work we do will not negatively impact any ongoing projects in the community. When we started there were no weekly lunch programs on the North Shore.
We are in our third year of building community around food and currently feed approximately fifty guests and volunteers each week. Our guests are waited on by volunteers and offered at least three sandwich options as well as a bowl of homemade soup, fresh made garlic bread and various desserts.
Our guests include seniors, families, young people and street folks. We had had the privilege of serving both United and Anglican North Shore clergy, the North Vancouver City Mayor and several members of council who have attended to show their support and appreciation. Donations are accepted and appreciated.
This year the local shelter has provided staffing to support a drop-in Centre. Folks can come in from the cold and wet to access community resources providing a hand up for some of our less fortunate neighbours. They then join us for lunch. We’ve been able to share warm coats, toques and gloves over this past winter making life a little kinder for our friends. This in a small and very personalized way helps to address the individual’s issues of poverty, homelessness and mental health.
Support for this ministry is provided through my non-profit society called Sharing Abundance Association incorporated to provide community meals. The local Legions, Lion’s Club, Anglican and United Churches as well as individuals provide the bulk of the funding. A large gift from Whole Foods Market enabled us to purchase a commercial cooler last spring. The Lonsdale Safeway store donates their bread products from the proceeding day each week and a local florist, Bella Dono, provides fresh flowers for our tables.
We have a wonderful team of volunteers who arrive early to prepare the space, make the sandwiches, soup and set up so that our guests are cared for with compassion and kindness. Many of our guests stay to help put the tables away and clean up after the meal.
We have become a very close knit community of friends supporting one another while we work together each week trying to live out the Gospel and love our neighbours.
Deacon, St. Agnes Church
Founding Director, Sharing Abundance Association