First- Annual Holiday Lunch and Staff Donations Provided Almost
900 Meals to Community
KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ONTARIO (January 18, 2023): The Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre/Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre’s Community Wellness Team, working in unity with generous partners and donors, welcomed anyone in the community to drop in for some warmth, food and care items this December 22, 2022. The first-annual event provided almost 300 meals for residents of downtown Kitchener.
“We extended an invitation to our community to join the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre/Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre at our holiday lunch,” said Tara Groves-Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre/Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre. “Thanks to generous donors, we provided almost 300 hot inclusive lunches to eat together or take away as we joined in unity with our community.”
The staff also donated a remarkable 463 pounds (210.01 Kilograms) of non-perishable food items to support The Food Bank of Waterloo Region. That’s the same as 592 meals for people in need in the communities they serve, bringing the total meals served and donated to almost 900.
“Thank you, Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre/Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre, for helping community members start off the year with food in their bellies and hope in their hearts,” said Kim Wilhelm, Interim CEO of The Foodbank of Waterloo Region. “Your kindness and compassion are so important during these incredibly challenging times.”
About Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre/Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre
The Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre/Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre recently integrated as one organization to provide patient-centered, evidence-based healthcare for all individuals facing barriers to access, including newcomers, refugees, people experiencing homelessness and precarious housing, low income and who are challenged by other social determinants of health in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. It recognizes the issues arising from poverty, persecution, mental health, addiction, trauma and supports access to the healthcare system. The organization also works with partner organizations to create a ‘hub’ of services in Kitchener-Waterloo.
The Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre has been providing primary health care and social support services to Kitchener-Waterloo residents facing barriers to access for over 20 years. Sanctuary Refugee Health Care began in 2013 in a church library with 6 clients, with a vision to create a welcoming environment where refugees can heal and fulfill the potential within them. Their shared vision of accessible services that meet the health goals of their clients and communities brought the organizations together In 2021 through a voluntary integration.
The organization directly provides and facilitates access to a broad range of health and social services in-house, and through referrals and community partnerships. Their services take into account social determinants of health, cultural sensitivities, and offer a range of services that include medical care, health promotion, trauma counselling, illness prevention and settlement and income security support. Working through a relationship-based lens, clients have a voice in the process and outcomes of their healthcare. For a full listing of all of our services please refer to our websites at kdchc.org and sanctuaryrefugee.ca.
The organization provides services to over 6000 patients, and clients represent 84 countries of origin and more than 55 different first languages.