Waterloo Pharmacy gives back to community by prepping and serving meals for homeless

How do you feed 200 people? How about starting with 200 bread bowls, 23 pounds of beef, 40 bunches of lettuces and 9 pounds of potatoes?

Those were just some of the many ingredients that School of Pharmacy faculty and staff purchased for Jan 27’s Community Centre Meal. Working with the Ray of Hope Community Centre, the School fundraised and coordinated the preparation and serving of meals for the needful in Kitchener.

ray of hope individuals

Ray of Hope’s Community Centre offers a place of safety and support to those struggling through poverty and homelessness. With their community partners, they provide hot meals, groceries, blankets, towels, hygiene products and shower and laundry facilities. Waterloo Pharmacy is a long-time partner of Ray of Hope: the School has served as a rest stop for the organization’s Coldest Night of the Year awareness event and fundraiser for several years.

school of pharmacy whiteboardThe School of Pharmacy is part of the University of Waterloo Health Sciences satellite campus in downtown Kitchener and students, staff, and faculty have benefitted from our location and partnerships with local organizations. We’re always looking for opportunities to engage with the community that has been so welcoming to us.

“The Ray of Hope dinner enabled us to come together as a School and to give back to the community at the same time,” explains Lisa Walsh, Pharmacy’s community service learning coordinator (currently on maternity leave). “We have been a warm up station for Ray of Hope’s annual Coldest Night of the Year and will do so again this year, and we’re grateful for this opportunity to serve our community in another way.”

stew and breadThe volunteers prepped beef and veggie stew served in bread bowls, Caesar salad, and desserts for the approximately 200 people who visited the shelter that night. The recipe was a simple but tasty one: ingredients were delivered, peeled, and diced by one team of volunteers in the morning and then finished and served by another team of volunteers in the evening.

group of people
For more info on Ray of Hope, see the Community Centre website.

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