It’s a typical scene that you see at many food banks. People come in the door, line-up and wait as they proceed along to the table, where they register to receive a food hamper. However, it’s what happens after they’ve registered that make this food bank a little different. This food bank is the Bell Tower Community Cafe, operating out of Westminster United Church
Once the clients have registered they are encouraged to go and grab a bowl of soup, or now that it’s summertime, head back outside and grab a hot dog and hamburger along with some salad, bread, or cookies. Then there’s coffee and tea. Not the add one cup of grounds for 100 cups of water type either. The coffee is likely to be from Thom Bargen’s and the tea from DAVIDsTea.
If you hang around long enough you’ll see the auditorium transformed. There’s a band up on the stage. While people enjoy the music and conversation a line of children will snake its way around the tables, or they’ll be out in front dancing. Often some of the adults will join them in dancing. Among the noises, laughter and shrieks of delight will also be frequently heard.
This is not some idyllic scene. After all, many of the people here are clients whose income makes feeding themselves and their families difficult. Since it began it February, right up to last Friday, the Bell Tower Community Cafe, has shared over 800 hampers for more than 1,600 people, about 600 of whom are children. Yet, despite this there is more laughter and pleasure here than you will see at many other food banks. How did this happen? Continue reading