May 29, 2024

Holy Wisdom: A commitment to faith, community and justice

Holy Wisdom Food Bank (Holy Wisdom), located at Brimley Road and Lawrence Avenue, has been supporting the Scarborough area since September 2023.  

Housed within Church of the Holy Wisdom, the program initially opened after members of the community realized that the area was lacking an evening weekday program to relieve nearby food banks and support those facing issues of food access.  

As an organization, Church of the Holy Wisdom’s mission is to create a space with a commitment to faith, community, and justice.  

Gail, the program’s Food Bank Coordinator, notes that Holy Wisdom isn’t just a food bank. She says, “It’s about camaraderie; it’s about friendship. It’s about extending that helping hand beyond what anyone would think when they first come for food.” 

Though the food bank is run on Tuesday evenings, clients will often come earlier to spend time in the space. The team of volunteers at Holy Wisdom take great effort in ensuring that clients are welcomed warmly, greeted with tea and coffee, and strive to forge genuine connections with them.

In fact, Reverend Gerlyn and the dedicated volunteers who support the program, take an active part in providing support in areas that extend far beyond food access. “At first the role was just to spend time with folks and assist with the food bank. Since September, I think I’ve helped with two school applications, a permanent resident application and about ten job applications,” says Reverend Gerlyn. 

When speaking with the volunteers, it is clear that they also share a commitment to giving back. It’s not uncommon for them to actively collect egg cartons and other materials outside of their time volunteering, bring recycling materials home if piles of it grow high at the food bank, and seek donor support within the area. Each volunteer has their unique reasons for taking part in this program, but it is a sense of compassion and supporting their community that connects them all. 

The need for food assistance continues to escalate, with almost 12,700 clients accessing a food bank for the first time in April. We are grateful to the team at Holy Wisdom for their work in ensuring that everyone has access to the food and resources they need during the most difficult times. 

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