Apr 5, 2024

Putting the ‘care’ in Grace Pascoe Care Centre 

As you approach the church that houses Grace Pascoe Care Centre (Grace Pascoe) on a Thursday evening, the first thing you’ll see is the line that snakes down the road.  

Grace Pascoe, a Daily Bread agency for years, had shut down soon after the pandemic started for many reasons. But in 2022, when the church that housed the program reached out to the local Beaches community, resident Adrienne decided she wanted to give back and assist with it.  

She reached out to her own connections, who helped set the revitalized program into motion. Though Adrienne and the volunteers had minimal food bank experience, she says that one thing was abundantly clear, “the only thing we tried to figure out was how we were going to give out food and how we were going to create a welcoming space.”  

When you step foot into the large space that houses the program, the welcoming atmosphere that the volunteers work to cultivate is palpable.  

The program, which first saw about 220 clients when it reopened, now serves about 350 clients a week. Because the program is one of the few in the city that operates in the evenings, they’ll regularly see clients who travel from outside the area to receive food access. 

However, in mid-February, Grace Pascoe saw a record 415 clients, mirroring the record high number of food bank visits seen across the city that month. During February, there were 301,354 client visits to Daily Bread member food banks – a 46% increase compared to the same period last year.  For Grace Pascoe, 415 is an astounding number given that the program is only open once a week, for a 2.5-hour period.  

The program is a drop-in model, so once clients have checked in, they make their way around the space which has been set up for volunteers to efficiently assist clients so that they’re able to shop quickly.  

It’s clear that the volunteers and clients alike gain so much from these meaningful interactions.  

In fact, the program, which is run by between 30 and 35 volunteers, has had very little turnover. Most of the volunteers have been there since its start in 2022, and it’s clear to see why.  

Every person involved in the operation of the program wants to create a warm and safe space that’s open to the community. It means a lot to them to create connections with each person who walks through the doors. Kathy, a regular client shared her experience, “When I went in, they made me feel so welcome, it wasn’t at all like I expected. I knew they were there to support me,” she says.  

The warm atmosphere within the space is a true testament to the wonderful group of people who work to offer the program.  

If you would like to support essential food programs like Grace Pascoe Care Centre, click here to learn more.  

Filed under:
Related Posts