Amanda Robichaud is the new executive chaplain at the Elgin Street Mission. (Jaime McKee/CTV News)

For the past 32 years, Sudbury’s Elgin Street Mission has been serving the less fortunate in the community. New Executive Chaplain Amanda Robichaud hopes she can be a part of it for the next 32 years.

“Being born and raised here in Sudbury, I thought what greater privilege than to serve the Sudbury community,” said Robichaud.

“I’ve pastored in the community for the past 20 years, so this is a different opportunity, but one that is equally as important.”

Robichaud said the Mission is about more than just filling stomachs -- it also strives to fill spirits. Those who support the Mission say she is a great addition.

“Our past leadership has been amazing, and she continues that tradition,” said Gerry Lougheed, from the Lougheed Foundation.

“Being a pastor, she certainly can feed the soul, and being the person running the breakfasts and the dinners, she can feed the belly.”

Due to COVID-19, the Mission has had to alter the way it works. Guests can usually access the building by coming inside for breakfast, lunch and dinner 365 days a year. But due to the pandemic, those in need are being offered takeout packages of lunch and supper.

Although the Mission has adjusted its services, the demand for food is still present. Robichaud said staff were seeing an average of 170 people a day before COVID-19, and now are seeing around 220 a day.

“COVID has hit everyone differently, but definitely those who don’t have anywhere to go to experience some type of community are hit even harder," she said. "I couldn’t think of a better time to take on this role and serve this way.”

Staff and volunteers are now preparing for Thanksgiving Monday, when they will offer a turkey dinner to those in need.