The way we experience a meal matters — whether we are involved in the preparation process, have to eat alone, or are sharing the meal with others.
Our partner Crossroads Community Meal, recently restructured its program in order to address these important elements of sharing a meal. With an emphasis on enjoyment, community building, empowerment and sustainability, Crossroads is moving away from a traditional charitable model. The new approach gives people a chance to work and eat together as peers.
Simeon Pang, community co-coordinator at Crossroads, explains what that exactly means.
“We want to move away from a model where we provide food and there are other people that receive food. Now we come together, prepare a meal and share the 4-5 hours together doing something in which everyone can take part in, so that they can feel needed and wanted.”
The “we” in Simeon’s statement are people like Lianne, Iler, Xena, and her daughter Tamara. Most of them have been coming to Crossroads dinners for years, and take pride in contributing. Together they whip up delicious meals like “Mac and Cheese Deluxe” (the “deluxe” part being ham, but there’s always a vegetarian and vegan option as well).
Graeme, another regular, usually sets the tables. For him, he says, coming to Crossroads’ dinner on a Thursday night, means a lot.
“I am really grateful that we all have this place. The meal is really good, nourishing. And I like helping out.”
If you would like to learn more about the wonderful people that make Crossroads Thursday dinner program thrive, please watch our short 3-minute video.