The School of Pharmacy supports local initiatives for homeless and hungry

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Pharmacy students holding signs to guide visitors to hot meals they prepared.

Last week, students, staff, and faculty from the School of Pharmacy supported local service organization Ray of Hope in delivering two events - preparing a hot lasagna meal and providing a rest stop for the annual Coldest Night of the Year walk.

For the first event, which was held on Tuesday February 19th, the School of Pharmacy gathered at Ray of Hope to make lasagna, salad, and garlic bread. Faculty, staff and students made the sauce and prepared eleven big trays of lasagna. Another shift of pharmacy volunteers served the meal to the 200 people who came by the centre that night. In what is becoming an annual tradition for Waterloo Pharmacy, this was the third meal that pharmacy volunteers have prepared at the community centre.

Volunteer group at the Ray of Hope Kitchen

Waterloo Pharmacy’s work in the community continued with their second event which was the 2019 Coldest Night of the Year walk, on Saturday February 23rd. This event was also organized by Ray of Hope.

Each year, Coldest Night of the Year walks occur across Canada, raising money for charities serving hungry, homeless, and hurting people. In Kitchener, Ray of Hope is the charity that is supported. People volunteer in teams, fundraise, and complete either a 2km, 5km or 10km walk up King street.

For many years, the School of Pharmacy has supported this initiative as a rest stop where people completing the walk can stop in for a coffee, snack, and break. Student and staff volunteers welcome participants with cheering and signs. About 600 people participated in this year’s walk and altogether the teams raised approximately $150,000.


Group of walkers in winter clothing and smiling

Waterloo Pharmacy staff member Funmi Onikan (far right) participated in the walk with her family and friends.

Events like Coldest Night of the Year allow the School of Pharmacy to give back to a community that has been so welcoming to its faculty, staff and students. Waterloo Pharmacy is grateful to Flanagan Foodservice who donated goods in support of the community meal the School prepared.