2021 has shown a consistent flow week to week. The most notable occurrence has been new faces. It has become common for Marg to look at me and ask who the person is or me mentioning to her there is another new face. Every week for at least the last 4 if not more this has been the case twice each week. While our weekly average is still at 60, with an almost 50/50 split of men to women, the number of people who have accessed the service this year at least once has to be close to 130 if not more. The total number of visitors this year who have come through the door is near 500.
What our tally doesn't show is the family group benefiting each week. For example, I know of a mother and daughter who come almost every week now that we count 2 but in reality they represent 5, or the mom who comes with 1 or 2 children but has 4. A partially informed guess puts the weekly impact at approximately 140.
If everyone who comes fairly regularly showed up on the same Tuesday we would have over 100 people come through our doors. Currently we see people walking out with at the very least a bag of groceries, with a soup and sandwich, to a box full, or two large recycle bags overfilled. We have never run out for the people coming down the table line or the groups picking up for their organizations needs.
Two weeks ago the estimated dollar value on all the goods given away that day was $5000. We were blessed with so much that not only did everyone get a bounty, but I also dropped off 100 pounds of food at the Foodbank that afternoon, 70 of it was just meat.
A lot of numbers in the previous paragraphs, but the one that stands out for me most is 60. That has been a consistent number of guests for not only the Soupbowl but our Friendship Friday service as well. 60 is the completion of the minute, the hour. It represents a completion of a cycle. The work starts at 2pm Tuesday for the new cycle and completes near that time on the following Tuesday. The energy in the church is busy during the service time but always peaceful and many smiles hiding under masks.
The one thing we enjoy as volunteers in abundance is gratitude, it is very common for people to say thank you as they leave which is another completion of the cycle. Audrey took some pictures this week to share with this report so you can see the setup and abundance available to everyone who visits us. With Audrey volunteering with us I'm sure we can compel her to take some pictures from time to time to share with you all, as with limits on people in the building for distancing and such, does make visits during the busy times problematic.
The invitation does exist if you wish to see things first hand, but as stated in the past we must respectfully insist that between 11:00 am till noon there are no visitors. The line up outside starts at 10:45 and we don't generally let them start entering till 11:15 - 11:30 so it's quite a busy place during that hour.
God Bless, Michael