A new grassroots initiative is hoping to bring various community groups together to serve meals to those in need.
The “Cambridge Neighbourhood Table” was given the green light from city council earlier this month and has been two years in the making.
The pilot project aims to have five locations across Cambridge and offer social and supportive services as well as dinner.
Executive director Joe-Ann McComb says Kitchener’s Ray of Hope Meal program was the inspiration for the initiative.
“We want to take and make it into something a bit more,” she said. “We’d be able to connect or resource wrap around services for those who might need very specific clinical or social services.
We might have seniors or some who are homeless.”
The $70,000 stamp of approval from city council has been followed by a $50,000 grant from the Region of Waterloo.
“We have 16 faith groups, four neighbourhood associations, and other places all eager to help,” said Ward 5 Cambridge councilor Pam Wolf. “The whole project answers social isolation, but a lot of volunteers are also isolated and would like to be involved in their community.”
Forward Church has offered their banquet hall as a possible host site for no cost.
“We’re a church concerned about the community,” said Forward Church teaching pastor Steve Adams. “It’s part of our role and part of our faith.”
Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank plans to assist with providing the ingredients to make the meals from Monday to Friday.
“I think this is going to be one of the most significant initiatives in the social fabric of our city in a very long time,” said Adams.
Goals for Cambridge Neighbourhood Table include community development and a chance for people to build relationships in a communal dining setting.
They hope to have the first of five locations confirmed by next week and ready by April.
The locations are expected to run from 5-9 p.m. with dinner served around 7 p.m.