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Second edition of Yarmouth’s 100 Meals to start Dec. 3

Shirley Deveau and Andre Michel preparing lunch at the HOPE Centre this past January as part of Yarmouth’s inaugural 100 Meals initiative. The project is being undertaken a second time, starting Dec. 3, and the HOPE Centre is the kickoff location.
Shirley Deveau and Andre Michel preparing lunch at the HOPE Centre this past January as part of Yarmouth’s inaugural 100 Meals initiative. The project is being undertaken a second time, starting Dec. 3, and the HOPE Centre is the kickoff location. - Carla Allen

Lunch at HOPE Centre will kick off the follow-up to last winter’s initiative

A year ago at around this time, Yarmouth’s 100 Meals initiative was launched. It was an effort to provide 100 community meals daily for 100 days. The response was tremendous. Now the stage has been set to do it once more.

“The success of the 100 Meals far surpassed anything we had imagined, so we are going to do it again,” Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood said.

The initiative’s second edition is scheduled to kick off Dec. 3 with lunch at the HOPE Centre in the town’s south end.

“I think we started just before Christmas last year, so we are between two and three weeks earlier (this time),” the mayor said.

Noting that some local organizations have community meals – perhaps on a weekly or monthly basis – Mayor Mood says the idea is to build on what those groups are doing so that there will be a community meal every day for the 100-day period starting Dec. 3.

Reflecting on how the idea for the initiative first came to her, the mayor recalls being in her office one week and getting several phone calls from people who said they were struggling. It was a matter of paying for medication or putting food on the table, the mayor was told. Or maybe it was a choice between paying a power bill and putting food on the table.

She saw the 100 Meals project as a way to give people a hand.

“It was basically a call-out to the community ... to just say, you know what, we need to do this,” she said. “We need to help each other, and they showed up in droves.”

But it’s about more than just offering people a meal, she said, citing the social and community aspect of this endeavour.

Referring to the first 100 Meals project, she said, “We had seniors come out that told us they hadn’t been out of their house, out of their homes, in quite some time. Friends were picking up friends. We had a young man who was homeless who came to a meal and found a place to live from somebody at the next table. Those are amazing community things that are happening.”

Donations are still being sought to help with the second edition of the 100 Meals initiative. Tax receipts can be made available to those who write a cheque. People also can contribute by attending one of the meals and perhaps making a donation there.

The mayor invites all citizens to be a part of this project, whether it’s by coming out for a meal or by making a donation to support the initiative or both.

“We do want to encourage the entire community,” she said. “Bring your family out. It’s for everyone.”

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