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Hustling for a less hungry future
Upcoming event to help out inner-city soup kitchen
Karen Carswell is hoping Winnipeggers will hustle to help feed the city’s future.
Carswell, who lives in Tuxedo, is race organizer of Hustle for Hunger 2011 — a fundraiser for the West Broadway-based soup kitchen Agape Table, which is run out of All Saints Anglican Church at 175 Colony St.
The event will begin at the Lyric Theatre in Assiniboine Park at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 10 and is set to include a five-kilometre run and a three-kilometre walk.
The soup kitchen offers services such as subsidized breakfasts, low-cost groceries and a bagged lunch program. It also supplies market quality produce to kids and families in need.
Carswell said the fundraiser is an important way to help maintain Agape’s food and supply programming for Winnipeg’s inner-city community.
"Part of me is blessed that I don’t need these services, so I see it as paying it forward," says Carswell, who founded the event three years ago with a group from St. Andrews River Heights United Church and has seen it grow from 40 to 230 participants.
"Kids are going to be the future of this country and if they’re going to school hungry then we’re going to be in a mess, as food is essential for healthy brain function. You can’t learn on an empty stomach."
Kevin Vandal, Agape’s executive manager, said working at the soup kitchen has heightened his awareness for the need to fight hunger in the community.
"Food is the breaking point of the cycle of poverty and yet most of us of don’t know what it’s like to be hungry," Vandal says, noting that between 250 and 350 individuals use the facility daily, depending on the season.
The North Kildonan resident noted that four cornerstone principles — nutrition, empowerment, dignity and community — guide the programming of the non-profit organization.
"Nutrition means healthy living, so we try to make available the healthiest food possible, while empowerment can mean paying a dollar for breakfast," he said.
"Dignity comes from being able to pay a bit for these services and community refers to everyone on a daily basis. It’s a place where people can be together."
Vandal says Agape’s supplies are delivered from across the city. These include dairy from Vic’s Fruit Market in Fort Garry and produce from Garden Grove Distribution in Winnipeg’s Dufferin neighbourhood.
Pearl, a regular morning visitor who eats breakfast occasionally and often has coffee at Agape Table, said the soup kitchen plays a valuable role in the community.
"I pass the message around that it’s a good place for people to come," said Pearl, whose daughter and young granddaughter currently live with her.
"There are a lot of poor people who need this service in the city. And it’s good for single mothers with kids. I like to see the kids associate with other little ones, as that’s how they learn to speak."
The morning breakfast service runs Monday to Friday between 8 and 10:30 a.m. For more information, visit www.agapetable.ca. To register for the event, visit www.runningroom.com.
More The Sou'wester
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(1 of 12 articles for this week)05/22/2013 1:00 AM 0
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