By Arlene Hepburn
The weekly free lunch program of Cochrane’s St. Andrew’s United Church has grown by leaps and bounds and continues to serve people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When COVID-19 meant closing down in-person Sunday worship in mid-March, the Tuesday soup program continued, following Alberta Health guidelines. On March 17 curbside delivery saw Coordinator Heather Campbell and Rev. Ray Goodship hand out 17 containers of soup. With online registration, June 2 saw 170 lunch bags, including soup, bread and a dessert either delivered by a dedicated team or handed out at the door.
The program began almost five years ago as a pilot project with Ray Goodship leading volunteers from St. Andrew’s with the preparation of soup, from scratch. The attendance averaged about 30 people with as many as 87 stopping by for hospitality on Tuesday.
Over the summer, the program will take its usual two-month recess. We also look forward to updated AHS guidelines allowing for the community to once again gather at St. Andrew’s, to share lunch.
Arlene Hepburn is a member of St. Andrew’s United Church, Cochrane and also a Regional Representative to Chinook Winds Region.