Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Agape Table

Spirit of Giving

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What they do

AGAPE Table offers low-cost meal and grocery programs to assist low-income Winnipeg residents.

It is a registered Canadian charity that helps single parents, expectant mothers, the unemployed, children, seniors and people with disabilities.

Agape Table is located at 175 Colony St., close to Broadway.

The organization's name comes from feast tables of the early Christian church, where wealthy people donated food and shared a meal with the poor.

Hopes for the holidays

ON Christmas Eve, the charity is hosting a turkey dinner with all the fixings, plus live music.

Continued financial support helps Agape Table develop new programs like subsidized breakfasts, where low-income people can eat a hot meal from 8 to 11 a.m. Meals are available through the emergency meal plan, with no proof or paperwork required.

"We don't charge for this (Christmas) meal, because it's a celebration meal," said Sean Brennan, chairman of the board of directors of Agape Table. "And we don't want an emergency meal on the same days as our celebration."

The dinner is open to everybody on Dec. 24 between 8:30 a.m. and noon.

"We've been encouraging all of our families to attend (and) we usually see about 600 or 700 people," Brennan said. "And we have live entertainment -- Aaron Burnett will be coming, but I'm not sure how long he will be there."

Burnett is a local entertainer and will sing holiday music and children's songs.

"The grocery program runs Tuesday to Wednesday all year," Brennan said. "It's new as of this year, but we will be distributing turkeys this Christmas."

There's also a volunteer dietitian available by appointment to help low-income people learn how to eat healthy foods within their budget.

How to help

AGAPE Table accepts non-perishable food and clothing.

Quality clothing donations are sold in the low-cost boutique. Because Agape Table doesn't receive funding from the government, it depends on tax-deductible donations from businesses, organizations, religious groups and individuals. Visit the website at www.agapetable.ca/donate-now to make online contributions or to download a donation card that can be mailed in. You can also call 783-6369 or email general@agapetable.ca.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 17, 2010 A13

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