Those relying on Lionhearts Inc. for meals will continue to get the support they need this winter.
Thanks to a partnership with long-time Lionhearts supporter Stages Night Club, Lionhearts has secured an indoor location for its COVID-19 Street Project from November through to April. Kingston City Council voted unanimously on Nov. 3 to give $39,000 to Lionhearts in order to cover Stages’ additional utility and insurance costs for the coming months.
“We’re so grateful for the City’s support and the community support on behalf of those who need it most,” added Travis Blackmore, Executive Director, Lionhearts Inc.
“While COVID-19 has been and continues to be difficult for everyone, projects like ours demonstrate how crisis situations bring out the best in all of us. We sincerely thank all the donors and volunteers who have been a lifeline for thousands across our community.”
A notice will go out soon in Lionhearts’ meal kits with the new location and the official start date (Saturday, November 14) for services at Stages. This latest gesture of support comes as Lionhearts and The Hub Group mark eight years of partnership, which first began when Stages provided space and spare winter clothing to Lionhearts for its programs.
In a few short days, Lionhearts Inc.’s Street Project will serve its 150,000 meal and mark its eight-month anniversary. Each day, hundreds of people are still finding some of their daily needs met through the Lionhearts COVID-19 Street Project, which currently provides fresh meal kits and hygiene supplies at one of three locations in Kingston and Amherstview.
Recently, a new partnership with Loyalist Collegiate & Vocational Institute (LCVI)’s Cook’s Internship program has helped reduce the burden on Lionhearts’ volunteer chefs and allowed the team to serve more meals. High school students have been completing food prep to help the chefs for the past four weeks and, in the process, they have learned about food processing, mass production, and how to ensure food safety when preparing food on a large scale.
“The Lancer Cafe at LCVI has provided countless Specialist High Skills Major experiential learning opportunities for students over the years,” says Ian Montgomery, the Hospitality Teacher and Head Chef for LCVI. “When we learned that our cafeteria would not open due to the pandemic, we wanted to find a project that would keep the energetic vibe of our kitchen and still provide a unique experience for students. The partnership with Lionhearts has been an amazing experience for our culinary students. We hope to continue to support Lionhearts and develop our hospitality program through community projects like this in the future.”
“The students and their instructors at LCVI have become an indispensable part of our kitchen brigade,” adds Will Arnaud, Lionhearts’ Executive Chef and Owner of Otter Creek Catering & Food Truck). “We would not have been able to meet the increased demand for meals in October without their help. One of the big jobs they did for us was to roast and prepare large portions of our Thanksgiving Dinner. It was an incredible joy to see such a beautiful meal created for our program guests.”
Funds are still urgently needed to help those struggling during COVID-19. For more information on the Street Project, please visit: lionhearts.ca/covid-19-street-project.
About Lionhearts Inc.: lionhearts.ca/donate-now
Driven by a deep desire to see all people living with human dignity, we at Lionhearts Inc. have been uniting people with practical acts of love since our founding in Kingston in 2014.
The cornerstone of our operation is to collect large donations of food from very generous businesses. We then deliver manageable quantities regularly to reinforce front-line organizations who are already doing amazing work in our cities.
Poverty knows no social boundaries. Our organization serves every demographic including senior citizens, families, single parents, children, and people living with mental illness. We simply connect those who want to help with those who already know how to do it.
We also host The Embassy Live Music Café, a space that provides “diplomatic immunity” from your worries and troubles for the night. We provide an intimate stage for live music and create community for every guest.
We are a registered charity and donations may be made via our website or through Canada Helps.