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 — May 22, 200822 mai 2008
 

by the Rev. Dr. Jan Bigland-Pritchard,
Director, Prairie Centre for Ecumenism

I am writing with my Board’s unanimous backing to ask your financial and personal support for the re-designed Station 20 West project. The project seeks to raise $1.675 million by December 31, 2008 in order to build in the spring of 2009.

Background
$8 million of provincial funding was withdrawn earlier this year from a project designed to bring food security, nutrition education and health services within the reach of residents of Saskatoon’s core neighbourhoods, many of whom cannot travel to get food and services.

Decision to go ahead
Public support since the announcement of the funding cut has been overwhelming. Saskatoon City Council unanimously agreed to give Station 20 West an extension on the time it has to begin building. The Station 20 West Board decided to go ahead with what was always at the heart of the project – a community grocery store, including a small café, with a commercial kitchen next door managed by CHEP to provide nutrition education and help for people wishing to develop small catering businesses. There will also be office space in the complex available for health and community services.

Why a community grocery store?
Access to affordable, quality food is difficult for those in the core neighbourhoods with no transport, and poor nutrition leads directly to poor health. The last grocery store closed over 10 years ago: the nearest one today is 2 kms away. Imagine a single mother trying to bring home a week’s shopping on the bus while managing 2 small children. Imagine an older person with arthritis waiting in the cold for up to half an hour for a bus, then struggling to bring heavy groceries home. This store is wanted and needed. Local people have already pledged to spend over $1 million at Good Food Junction during its first year.

Why a church-based appeal?
Church organizations and Christian people have been involved in Station 20 West from the outset, happy to partner with all who share this vision. A recent meeting of Saskatoon senior church leaders expressed strong support for the revised Station 20 West project. The Prairie Centre for Ecumenism wants to bring this need before the Christian community as a whole because:
• Serving and giving dignity to the poor was at the heart of Jesus’ ministry (Luke 4:18)
• The first apostles urged their churches to “remember the poor” (Galatians 2:10)
• Jesus loved bodies as well as souls – his healing miracles and feeding of large crowds (Matthew 14: 13-21) show his care for the whole person. As his followers, we take his example seriously.

Ways to give (and get a tax receipt)
• organize a fundraiser: e.g. St. John’s Anglican Cathedral recently had a community BBQ.
• have a ‘bakeless bake sale’, an event where everyone brings a financial gift instead of baking
• Invite a speaker from Station 20 West to your worship service, and take a special offering.
• If you have been blessed financially (perhaps through the recent increase in the value of your home) become part of the “Silver Dollars Club” – making a major gift in multiples of $1000.
• Contribute to the PCE Appeal online. Make sure to mark your donation ‘Station 20 West’ Cheques made out to ‘Prairie Centre for Ecumenism‘ and marked ‘Station 20 West Appeal’ can be mailed to the PCE at 600- 45th St. West, Saskatoon S7L 5W9. 100% of all funds so marked will go to Station 20 West.

Find out more
Station 20 West website
Good Food Junction Grocery Store
• Look for Appeal updates on the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism website

Posted: May 22, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=460
Categories: NewsIn this article: affordable housing, community development, Saskatoon, social policy
Transmis : 22 mai 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=460
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : affordable housing, community development, Saskatoon, social policy


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