VOLUNTEERING – The Sandwich Club: Canadian Martyrs Church, Centre 507 Team Up to Feed The Needy

Phote by Google Street View

Photo by Google Street View


Adele Casuga

The Canadian Martyrs Parish – Centre 507 Sandwich Club had about 4000 reasons to celebrate on October 22. Leslie Walker, member of District 27 Council, presented a $4,000 Retired Teachers of Ontario (RTOERO) Foundation Community Grant checque to the club in support of their community initiative.

With a mandate to provide community-based services and resources to adults who experience social, emotional, and financial challenges, Centre 507 has provided drop-in services and meals to the good people of Centretown since 1983. The Canadian Martyrs Church Sandwich Club, in partnership with Centre 507, has been in operation since 2020. From the darkest and most isolating days of the pandemic, parishioners banded together to create a unique solution for the increasing demand for fresh, healthy foods for people in need.

On a weekly basis, home based parishioners of Canadian Martyrs Church in Old Ottawa East prepare a variety of nutritious sandwiches for Centre 507. Funding for this project supports the purchase of fresh, healthy ingredients to make the sandwiches. The ingredient kits are delivered to the homes of parishioners and the assembled and wrapped sandwiches are picked up the next day and delivered to Centre 507. The RTOERO Foundation is a registered Canadian charity that invests in initiatives that promote healthy, active aging. With an emphasis on making a difference in the community, providing community connection, and inclusion, the CMP-507 Sandwich Club embodies the values and goals of the RTOERO Foundation. The $4,000 RTOERO Foundation Grant will go a longway in helping the Sandwich Club purchase sandwich ingredients.

Currently, the volunteer roster at the parish includes seniors, RTOERO members and their families, as well as high school students in need of volunteer hours (with parents acting as quality control). Their innovative drop-off and delivery system allowed parishioners, especially seniors, to contribute to the community in a meaningful way while maintaining safe social distancing. Without a doubt, their participation and dedication is highly valued by Centre 507.

Richard LeBlanc, Executive Director of the Centre, says “Sharing good food with others can break down barriers and be the first step in many journeys. When you connect with people over a good meal, you can start to share culture, experiences, beliefs, and build meaningful relationships. Your sandwiches are much more than sandwiches. They help break down barriers.”

This community home-based project is an excellent example of how a small local project can make a difference in the lives of those who give and those who receive.

If you are looking for an opportunity to give back to the community in a workfrom- home format, or would like to donate to the Sandwich Club, please call the parish office at 613-232-5347 or email CMPsandwich507@ gmail.com.

Filed in: Front Page

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