Family Giving Centre
Food Cupboard Dates for 2020
You must call 623-3608 (Line 2 at the Church) by Noon on the Thursday before Food Cupboard Friday. You are welcome to come once a month.
Open 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
St. Thomas' Family Giving Centre exists to help those in need, primarily in the Westfort community within Thunder Bay. Our goal is to put God's love into action, continuing the work of Jesus by reaching out and helping those in need.
Two Fridays a month from 10:30-12:30 p.m. we welcome those in need providing them free groceries, clothing, housewares, school supplies, children's toys, pet supplies, inspirational resources and a Free Community Lunch. Mostly we provide a warm welcome and acceptance, a sense of community and belonging to many who feel on the margins of society.
One "guest" of the Family Giving Centre gave us a letter of thanks in which she wrote, "I found myself homeless and alone....with a very limited amount of money and clothing. Your generosity, kindness and outreach has made it possible for me to have and create a home, to be safe and no longer afraid. In uplifting me you have given me hope in my darkest hours."
The Family Giving Centre receives funding largely from St. Thomas' congregation, friends of the Family Giving Centre and the Thunder Bay Community Foundation. Much of the food, clothing and other goods are donated in-kind by parishioners and friends. We are grateful to the generous support and partnership we enjoy with Regional Food Distribution Association (RFDA), St. John's Ambulance as well as several local farmers and businesses.
The Family Giving Centre is Volunteer run and supervised by the St. Thomas Church Advisory Board. Many of its volunteers are the "guests" themselves who desire to give back after receiving so much. We value the new friendships that have grown as our church volunteers work side-by-side with those in need.
St. Thomas’ Church had a long history of helping feed those in need in our Westfort community through our food cupboard. In March of 2013 at our advisory board visioning retreat, it was decided to become more intentional about feeding the hungry and becoming a voice for those in need. Each individual and group in the parish was challenged to contribute their time talent and resources with the goal of “Helping Those in Need.” The congregation responded with a tremendous out pouring of donations and support and our cupboard was expanded into a larger room.
We quickly realized our clients required more than food and we expanded our vision again to meet their needs. We repurposed rooms in what was our Education Centre, into rooms for the Family Giving Centre (FGC). Clients have rooms of clothing for men, women and children, a toy room, two house wares rooms and a “Pet Boutique” with food and supplies for our clients “fur family” members. Donations are received from the generous parishioners and the community at large as our need has spread through word of mouth and social media. In the fall of 2014 we began our “Adopt a Family” initiative and we have great continuing support from our congregation and the outside community. We could not continue without many community partnerships such as St. John Ambulance and Metro “Fill an Ambulance” food drive and Staples “Fill a School Bag” drive. Our mission is also blessed by support from the Regional Food Distribution Association (RFDA), the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and the Anglican Foundation.
Please read the article in the Anglican Journal - Foundation helps those in need by clicking here.
Grub Tub Program
The Grub Tub program is an outreach into the Thunder Bay Elementary Schools with one mission in mind: feeding hungry children. Tubs full of non-perishable, nut free snack foods are provided free of charge to schools to hand out at the teachers discretion for students who don’t have or have forgotten their lunches or snacks. Grub Tubs can currently be found in eight elementary schools, both Public and Catholic. The program was started in January 2014 and has been running successfully since. The cost of each Grub Tub is approximately $40.00 and community support has been helpful in the financing of this program. Groups such as the Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Thunder Bay Community Foundation, and local grocery stores are a few partners who have taken an interest in what St. Thomas’ is doing. We believe God has given St. Thomas’ a job to do in our community and we are “Joyfully Continuing the work of Jesus” by making sure the Grub Tubs in these schools never run dry. The spirit driven idea of providing snack foods in elementary schools has inspired other groups in the diocese to do the same. God is here at St. Thomas’, and when we listen, God’s Will be done.