Feed the Hungry is a program offered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary. Oversite of the program is provided by the Charities & Development Office of the Diocese. Feed the Hungry offers a Sunday dinner 49 weeks out of the year at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Mission.
Feed the Hungry clearly reflects the values of the Catholic faith. It is an important, viable, non-denominational service in the community that addresses one of the key needs of Calgarians experiencing poverty and marginalization — a healthy, high-quality meal in a friendly atmosphere of safety, respect and family.
Feed the Hungry offers a family-style, sit down dinner each Sunday in an atmosphere of community, warmth, dignity, safety and respect.
• Building an atmosphere of community, warmth, dignity, safety and respect for our guests.
• Offering a friendly, hospitable, guest-centered service.
• Creating a meaningful opportunity for service for our donors, staff and volunteers.
• Forming a community of support and connection.
• Showing ethical behavior by being respectful and trustworthy.
• Accountable for our actions by being fiscally responsible and providing effective stewardship and sound governance.
• FTH Logo Honoring God by serving a recognized need.
Each Sunday, approximately 500 members of Calgary’s homeless and low income population gather at St. Mary’s Hall in Mission to eat Sunday Dinner. For the impoverished, Sunday can seem to be just another day of trying to find food, shelter and a sense of belonging. Feed the Hungry is a family of donors, volunteers and staff creating a different type of Sunday for Calgary’s homeless and low income community – an atmosphere of family, dignity and respect over dinner at St. Mary’s Hall in the heart of Calgary.
Each weekend, Feed the Hungry serves a four course, sit down dinner to its guests. Each dinner has a salad, hot entrée, dessert and beverages. A sponsor group provides the $5,000 required funding and the bulk of the 100 volunteers necessary to accomplish each dinner.
In 1993, Catholic Charities worked with a group of concerned citizens to pilot an Easter Sunday dinner at St. Mary’s Hall in the Mission District of Calgary.
By the 1990’s the demographic of St. Mary’s parish area had changed from a quiet residential area in the 1950’s to an urban, inner city parish. The parish population was diverse: long-time members who were now seniors, young professionals living in downtown condos, and an expanding population of economically disadvantaged families and homeless individuals. Recognition of this “new” St. Mary’s parish inspired the need for the dinner. Those who had resources could come alongside and serve those who did not.
The dinner had a meaningful impact on the clients and more dinners were planned for the rest of 1993. By July of 1994, Feed the Hungry was an established program of Catholic Charities and each Sunday saw a traditional family meal served to approximately 500 guests.
If we could get more individuals to interact with homeless individuals one-on-one, they would realize it boils down to one human being dealing with another; two human beings with the same needs and the same wants.