Today in our #GCFGrantStories series, we spotlight Community Grant recipient Royal City Mission (RCM) which received funding for its Community Drop-In Meal Program.
RCM is a food security and relief agency in Guelph that ensures that everyone, regardless of socio-economic status, has access to the nutrition they need to survive by serving lunch five days per week and dinner six days per week at no cost. In addition, breakfasts prepared by Hope House are delivered bi-weekly to RCM for staff and volunteers to reheat and serve.
COVID-19 has profoundly affected RCM as they have increased their service volume by 175% in response to the closure of other drop-in city services. Before the pandemic, they served over 600 meals weekly. With partial funding from GCF’s Community Grants, they are now able to serve an amazing 1700+ meals a week, which makes up approximately 80% of the community meal services in Guelph!
One community member had been homeless for a few years, but with RCM’s support, encouragement, and help from other agencies, they were housed and began looking for employment. Their journey started with accessing meals, developing relationships, and connecting to housing supports. Along the way, they volunteered at several services and are now advocating for others who experience the struggles they faced.
While RCM is happy to be able to provide these meals, it is glaringly evident to them that there is a crisis in our community as people’s incomes do not keep up with the cost of living. RCM will continue to offer both its Meal Program and Drop-In Program, as they are essential for the well-being of many people in Guelph.