Ways to Help
We have learned over these many years that in order to help the homeless population of the Vancouver Downtown-East Side, we must be an efficient, punctual and well-organized group, for we serve hundreds of people every Saturday. To feed that many people in a relatively short time, it takes a well-trained and coordinated team effort. We are also quite aware of the fact that our “clients” (we call them “friends”) come from all over the area, with varying circumstances. Many sleep outside; some all year round! Of course, they are hungry. Some have very little patience, as they haven’t had any regular food for some time.
There are several ways you can volunteer to serve or help with Food on the Corner. Serving in any of the areas can be done as often or infrequently as you would like.
The areas, times and locations are:
•Become a van driver or driver’s assistant (Saturday from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM)-Location: Tsawwassen to Downtown Vancouver*
•Help load van (Friday mornings from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM)-Location: Storehouse located at Dennison Park in Tsawwassen
•Pickup bread and other supplies (various days throughout week)-Location: Tsawwassen (SaveOn & Thrifty’s)
•Help distribute soup and sandwiches to the homeless (Saturdays from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM)-Location: Downtown Vancouver*
•Help evangelize to the lost through words or music (Saturdays from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM)-Location: Downtown Vancouver*
•Make soup (once a year, month or week)-Location: Your home or Church
•Make sandwiches (once a year, month or week)-Location: Your home or Church
•Make coffee for Saturday morning (once a year, month or week)-Location: Your home, business, or Church
•Coordinate volunteers-Location: Your home
•General administration support-Location: Your home
•Van maintenance and cleaning-Location: Tsawwassen
•Donate soup or sandwich making supplies (non-perishable)***
•Donate supplies for food distribution***
•Pray for our ministry: for His protection and those whose lives we reach
How we prepare: Many people are involved in this part of our operation:
•The “Gatherers”: This group faithfully picks up bread and other baked goods, in the South Delta area, from commercial places during the week. and are stored in freezers in our storehouse.
•The “Friday team”: As they are called, meet each Friday morning at 8 AM at the storehouse. They prepare the van by filling it up with all the required items and baked goods needed for the Saturday service. This is our “young” seniors team!
•Our Drivers: The driver is in charge of bringing the van safely downtown every Saturday morning, as well as supervising the food distribution once there. Generally, they will drive about once every 6 weeks. Along with the driver in the van are usually one male and two female helpers. They hardly can wait until their turn comes up.
•Our Soup Makers: As we call them, are in most cases housewives who share some of their family food with the homeless downtown! All of our soup is genuinely homemade. In order to cook a 5 gallon pot of soup, it takes a lot of planning, preparation, and expense. As well, it is very time consuming; they volunteer and give of their time and substance. It is left to the individual soup maker to what kind of soup they make; however, most of our soups are chunky, thick and nourishing. Many soup makers have been making delicious soup for years. They just love it!
•Our Sandwich Makers: Every week is arranged from several different groups and families in the South Delta area, who also enjoy providing the homeless with sandwiches.
•Our Servers: We have been blessed over the years with many friendly servers who come from all over the Greater Vancouver area, helping us to “feed His Sheep,” both physically and spiritually.
•Our Coordinators: This group of people faithfully give their time to coordinate the scheduling of all of the above required duties. They include the director who schedules the drivers; the person who coordinates the soup making; the person who schedules the sandwich making; the person who schedules the servers; and many others who assist in scheduling the various aspects of our service.
Where we serve: In front of the Vancouver Courthouse, 222 Main Street, Vancouver, BC.
When we serve: Faithfully every Saturday morning and never missing a day since 1983!
How we serve: The white Food on the Corner van arrives in downtown Vancouver just shortly before 11 AM. Servers and helpers are standing by, ready to unload the tables and items necessary for service. The soup is delivered in five gallon buckets, which were transported in the van’s insulated compartments, to ensure a piping hot meal. While some servers unload the truck, others place tables in their positions and cover them with white paper for cleanliness. Other tables are placed beside the truck, for handing out additional baked goods. As this is all taking place, the “Food on the Corner Singers” have started to sing traditional Gospel songs in the background for the uplifting of the spirits of our “friends.” We also place a “literature table” at the side, for the spiritual needs of everyone. Just moments before the food reach-out happens, the driver who is in charge of the weekly operation welcomes all the hungry people and offers a prayer of blessing.
Please contact us if you would like to be involved in any of these areas of serving.
*Vancouver Location is at the Courthouse at 222 Main Street.
*Please note: Due to precautionary reasons the minimum age of serving at the downtown location is 16 years old.
**We are a faith-based organization and only if you feel called to donate then please refer to our Donation Form.
***Due to our limited capabilities, Food on the Corner graciously declines any donations of clothing, bulk food (dry or perishable), and/or other material goods. Please refer to those organizations that are established in collecting and distributing those items. Thank you for your understanding.