The Street Project program implemented by Lionhearts Inc. has been serving hot take-home meals since March 2020. On April 16, 2021, the program passed 250,000 meals served since its inception.
Volunteers with Lionhearts Inc. serve more than just a take-out box with a tasty meal. Daily offerings include snacks, fruit, pastries and fresh bread, hot chocolate, warm clothing, personal toiletries, fresh socks, and towels. The program has been integral for those in need during the pandemic, and has seen continued growth of the community it serves.
“At Lionhearts, we have seen many incredible people help keep our meals-to-go program alive,” said Travis Blackmore, executive director. “Between our financial supporters, our team of chefs, and our teams who serve these meals seven nights a week, we have seen the vulnerable in our community be fed nutritious meals during a long season of unknowns and difficulty.”
Over the winter months, the team was able to operate out of Stages Night Club. Kingston City Council voted unanimously on Nov. 3, 2020, to give $39,000 to Lionhearts in order to cover Stages’ additional utility and insurance costs for the months of November through April. Stages Night Club, a long-time Lionhearts supporter, donated their space --- unused, due to the pandemic --- for the COVID-19 Street Project.
With the warmer weather returning, Lionhearts Inc.’s Street Project meal program’s downtown location will be relocating from Stages Night Club back to McBurney Park (Skeleton Park) on Wednesday, Apr. 21, 2021. The meal kits will be served seven nights a week from 6 to 7 p.m.
Lionhearts Inc. offers their take-home meals at other locations in and around Kingston. For an up-to-date list, visit their Street Project page.
The colder weather did not keep hungry Kingstonians away, as the Street Project hit new highs for meals distributed during the winter, according to a release from Lionhearts Inc., dated Friday, Apr. 16, 2021. In recognition of its accomplishments through the pandemic, Lionhearts was recently recognized with the Kingston Rotary Centennial Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) Certificate of Appreciation.
“We would like to firstly thank all those who have donated to our COVID-19 Street Project,” Blackmore continued. “You have made an impact in the lives of many in our community, and we are grateful for your help. Your donations help us continue to prepare life-giving meals seven days a week for those in our community who need them.”
Funds are still urgently needed to help those struggling during COVID-19. Donations are accepted online at lionhearts.ca/donate-now
For more information on the Street Project, please visit lionhearts.ca/covid-19-street-project.
Story by Jessica Foley, The Kingstonist, for the Local Journalism Initiative