News from around the Table

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  • 24 May 2017 10:52 AM | Brandon Rushton (Administrator)

    Once again, the meatloaf meal proves to the a success. Words of praise were given from each guest and there was barely any waste in the compost as we scraped the plates. Actually the plates were mostly scraped clean when they arrived at the dish pit.

    We also made falafels a few times and this was a surprising hit, along with the Mediterranean Vegetarian Tangine.

    Things we need: bread bags ( from unmoldy loaves).

    Plastic! How can we get rid of plastic? At the food bank we use many plastic bags for people who don’t have enough bags or forget their grocery bags, we also separate pet food, instant and ground coffee into bags etc. AND we have limited storage. One possibility would be to start to educate our guests on bringing their own container, then sharing that rather than bagging ahead of time. If you are interested or passionate about this process – we would like to hear from you.

    Drying and prepping herbs for the long haul: Are you one of these gifted people? We are looking for your help!

    Summer drink ideas like ice tea, smoothies, etc… please send along your ideas or drop them into the collection Attn: Supper Table.

    THANK YOU gardeners! If you haven’t yet passed by our garden, take a stroll around  after mass while you are waiting for your partner who is still talking in church ….

    Thank you to Fr. Richard who lovingly nourished the tomatoes from wee seeds…. And to the Greg, Henry, Pat, Mary, Beth and Amanda who are our steadfast gardening leads.

    These past few weeks our average evening meal serves 130 people a night.

    Food Bank Needs: canned tomatoes, canned fruit, spices and herbs ( until ours grow), cream soups, canned meat, tomato paste, apples, oranges

    Meal program needs: lunch bags,

    Thank you to Gerry Pelletier who does our shopping and scouts out deals for us.

    Community Kitchen operates every Saturday from 1pm – 3pm All are welcome. Pay $5, cook with a group, have fun and Take three meals home.

  • 13 Apr 2017 2:34 PM | Brandon Rushton (Administrator)
    We are savouring spring and the prospect of year 4 of our garden. Greg and Henry have been assembling the Green House for Fr. Richard`s seedlings and the beds are being cleaned, the soil is being nurtured and we are awaiting the beauty of growing things. 

    This year, we are building three more beds for our garden, adding a little more oil, and working on our composting skills. You will also notice more flowers to attract the bees! 

    If anyone has a garden bench to donate we are willing to take it. People love to sit in the midst if the garden and watch the business pass by. The garden is a great place to centre yourself. 

    The community kitchen continues through the summer every Saturday from 1pm - 3pm. You pay $5.00, learn to cook a recipe and take three meals home. Register at 

    Food sharing is not just about nourishing the body, it helps to nourish community. Volunteers are here, not just to help out, but they also receive. One volunteer asked, `Is it wrong that I feel Zen when I do the dishes Everyday at work is intense but I come here to serve, and i feel a healing. And its because I am doing the dishes.`

    Below is another Zen task.... reviewing our seeds: 

    You can help us food share by sharing food needed in the food bank, donating sliced bread or by supporting the community financially to ensure its daily bills are paid. 

  • 20 Mar 2017 2:59 PM | Brandon Rushton (Administrator)

    St. Joe’s Supper Table is hosting a Music Trivia night, with volunteer guest host Mark Arnold, creator of Ottawa Music Trivia, to raise $12,000 for our food sharing programs and community garden. Reaching our goal will allow us to purchase a cow from a local young farmer, raise funds for the community kitchen program, help us build three new garden beds for the community garden, and provide us with the necessary funds to stock our food bank over the lean summer months. There will be team prizes up for grabs, a fantastic silent auction and 50/50 draws. Food is included with the price of your ticket. Wines and local beers will be available for purchase.  To reserve tickets, contact Mary Murphy at 613-233-4095 or email at or purchase your team ticket on line at


  • 13 Dec 2016 12:39 PM | Brandon Rushton (Administrator)

    Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! 

    Our last meal and food bank of 2016 will be on Friday, Dec 23rd. You can find a list of Free Christmas Dinner here or at Ottawa 211.

    Our last Community Kitchen is Saturday, December 17th from 1pm - 4pm. and we begin again on January 7th. $5.00 gets you some cooking skills, budgeting help and three meals to go. 

    Sandy HIll Residents who need the food bank are welcome to come for a second monthly visit on Dec 16th ( the Friday at 151 Laurier from 1pm - 3pm ) or on Dec 17th, ( from 10:30am - 12noon at 300 Wiggins)

    We re- open on Tuesday, January, 3rd. 

    The new year is usually a tough beginning for people on disability, Ontario Works  and those who are considered the working poor. Our much needed time of celebration during Christmas takes a toll and assistance cheques are far away, plus our hydro bills will be a little more in the cold.  

  • 05 Oct 2016 3:37 PM | Brandon Rushton (Administrator)

    What a day! 70 students passed through here today to see where their energy and efforts will go to when they start their annual St. Mark;s Food Drive. Last year they collected over 30 cases of canned goods our food bank! 

    Len and Phylis helped 15 students with the baking, while Erica, Pat, Marie, Jay and Deeb led our troops in the kitchen and food bank.

    Greg, Henry and Amanda took 16 students to help with the sad - yet necessary job of turning the garden...

    Our volunteers are AWESOME!!!

    We are all in the mood of Thanksgiving and the garden is no different. Even in the low light of the fall, and slightly cool breeze, the garden glows in a fall luminosity. It is a different light, with a different smell, a different feel.

    I think of Greg's mom who recently died, of my own parents who are entering the mystery of life turning... memory leaving, movement trembling.... a sense of waiting, a sense of rest, a sense of missing friends and things that were....

    The garden. in its state now, reaches deep in the soil of my soul and touches something that takes my breath away.

    The remaining petals of our greeting flowers... in a brief brightness from the passing light drew a tear from my busy heart. I had to stop. To pause. I had to allow for my heart to turn in a moment of awe. 

    Then, laughter - from the nystertiums ... as they revel in their power.The sole remaining flowers- still blooming, still vibtant- vigilant to Laurier and Cumberland...

    Happy Fall... Fill me with an attitude of gratitude!

  • 08 Sep 2016 10:15 AM | Brandon Rushton (Administrator)

    St. Joe’s Supper Table provides an evening meal Monday thru Friday from 5pm – 6:15pm. The people who come are people who are hungry, some are people who have jobs others are on disability, some are homeless and some are students. But, our mission is simply, to feed those who are hungry.

    We operate a food bank that serves the community of Sandy Hill in two locations ( her at 151 Laurier  and at 300 Wiggins Private). We have a community kitchen ( Saturdays from 1- 4) for anyone who wants to learn to cook on a budget or cook with others. We offer opportunities for people to volunteer as cooks, serving, cleaning and organizing, or to groups who want a team experience. Often people volunteer because they simply want to contribute.

    Our weekly food budget is $300 and we rely on the parish for our main support, donations from  the Ottawa Food Bank, the parish community, neighbours, Ottawa Food Sharing, Bridgehead Coffee, Kardish Foods, Hidden Harvest, two local farmers; Simon and Rachel and Reid and his family. Our volunteers are also generous and often donate sliced bread or sandwich spreads, eggs, ham to slice for sandwiches.

    This year we are exploring a social enterprise… we have a small team on hand to look into this, we also have been dabbling in catering small events and one large event…

    Supper Table Open House during September Sundays!  Mary ( the manager) will be in the kitchen this weekend and throughout September between the 9:30am and 11:30am masses…) Stop by, have a cup of joe and health muffin, bring your questions, suggestions or thoughts about food security  or simply relax  in our kitchen! Just make your way into the sacristy (knock on the door if its locked… someone will answer, find the hallway—walk all the way to the end!

    Community Kitchen: Cooking with Mike. Learn new skills, have fun, share recipes and techniques and cook on a budget . $.5.00 gets you three meals. Sign up at the Supper Table ( sign up on Bulletin Board outside of kitchen)

    Baking Club is made up of a group of people with special needs. Each Tuesday they bake with Teresa from the parish and Dina, their coordinator. They are looking for dried fruit to make their health muffins! We are using hospital oatmeal that is now frozen in our freezer…. (obviously not a favorite among ANYBODY as we have tried to give it away, but, Teresa  took on the challenge and made several recipes and finally received the taste approval from her neighbor. And, they really are good!

    We are looking for someone who like sales and marketing for a volunteer project. Contact Mary at

    Friday and Wednesday evening Volunteers needed: 4:45- 7pm. Contact Mary at or leave a voice message at 613-233-4095 ext 240.

    Food Bank Needs: Canned veggies, Cream soups, canned fruit or real fruit( like apples), canned tomatoes, peanut butter and jam, sugar, spices and herbs, tea, coffee, juice, snack bags,

    Meal program needs: lunch bags, Beets, sandwich meats, sliced cheese, black beans ( for a black bean sandwich mix),

    Meatloaf Sunday September 18: Interested Parishioners make meatloaf from a recipe a

  • 13 Apr 2016 1:09 PM | Brandon Rushton (Administrator)

    Last week, before the new snow fell, we were picking up large amounts of butts, so we were wondering... what can we do about this.... 

    Cigarette Butts are now part of our recycling program at the Supper Table. We turn them into TerraCycle (they pick them up for free). If anyone wants to get in on the action, just collect your butts at home or at the office and bring them in a plastic bag or box or coffee can and label them BUTTS for the Supper Table. You can put them in our donation box. Cigarette Butts take 15 years to decompose but they can be recycled- with the tobacco being put into compost and the other parts made into industrial products such as plastic palettes.

    We started this because there are just so many butts lying around and polluting our garden area.

    The Sodium Challenge info:

    • -          Most of the sodium in our diet comes from processed food : cereal, breads, crackers, sweets.

    What can you do to help reduce sodium?

    • -          Buy fresh not processed foods
    • -          Read the labels and choose items with less sodium
    • -          Use diluted tomato paste instead of tomato sauce, powdered bouillon or canned soup in recipes.

    When checking labels are check the serving size. Sometimes having ¾ of a cup will give you 120mg of salt… (so if you eat more like 1.5 cups – you will have more sodium)

    Why are we asking for an awareness of sodium through the Supper Table? Healthy food and eating habits help us all stay healthy and whole- or HOLY. When we think of what we fill our bodies with, we remember that these are our temples and gifts to care for… food is a gift to your temples to nourish us in body, and in sharing food we nourish community. 

    Food Bank Needs:

    • -          Potatoes, onions, carrots, cream soups, herbs and spices, instant coffee, tea, canned tomatoes, canned veggies, cereal, macaroni and cheese, snack bags , cooking oil of any kind ( small amounts)

    Meal Program Needs:

    • -          Cabbages, carrots, sandwich bags, olive oil, cheese blocks, sliced bread, mustard,

    Meatloaf sign up: see the meatloaf sign up sheet at the welcome desk. Unfortunately our meatloaf pans have taken a beating, so, if you are using your own pan please mark it with your name and some TAPE.

    THANK YOU – Meatloafs can be brought in on Sunday March 24th.





  • 05 Apr 2016 5:15 PM | Brandon Rushton (Administrator)

    News from around the Table…

    Our cooking team members met with nutritionists Olly W. from the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre and we explored the hazards of sodium, and the ways to manage our intake. Here are some tips:

    • 1)    rinse and drain canned vegetables and beans
    • 2)    cook from scratch
    • 3)    remember to keep your whole day in mind as well as portion size when you are calculating your sodium intake.

    Rinsing and draining example: a recipe that used rinsed and drained beans in it had only 11.3 mg of sodium while the recipe without rinsing and draining was 371.1 mg od sodium. Quite a difference!

    • -         You can also pick up a suggestion for alternate seasonings at the welcome desk to take home and try as well as a handout on a suggested low sodium weekly menu. Olly suggests putting a shaker of paprika on the table.

    The month of April will be the Sodium Challenge Month for the Supper Table. We will be putting on alternate seasonings on the table and then at the April we will be removing salt shakers from our tables. Why? Because we love our neighbours, our guests!

    Needs for the Food Bank: Fresh veggies, basil, thyme, paprika, pepper,  garlic powder, pepper, garlic cloves, canned milk, tea, canned fruit, cereal, rice, lentils, Peanut Butter, Jam

    Needs for the meal program:  Paprika, sliced bread, sandwich fillers such as tuna ( low sodium tuna J) , cheese blocks,

    Next Meatloaf Sunday is April 24th. Please sign up and pick up your meatloaf pan. If you follow your own recipe, just attach the ingredients to your donation with your name. ( reason: some people can’t eat pork or have allergies and it is good to know what we can serve….).

    Garden update: you can take a look at the stairway up to the second floor and look at our baby basils, tomatoes and peppers… ( gift from one of our guests who is finding this project to be very healing.)

    Learnings from the Food Summit I attended for the Good Food Organizations that we belong to:  1) GBTQ2S…do you know what 2S is for?  2S recognizes the spirituality of aboriginal people who have the gift of the male and the female spirit ( 2 spirits). 2) “Kale is like medicine – just choke it downJ , we are giving it to you because we love you!” – quote from a Winnipeg Chef.

  • 09 Mar 2016 5:15 PM | Brandon Rushton (Administrator)

    News from around the Table


    Towards the end of Styrofoam journey… We will continue to offer to go cups as we have them, but our next step is to offer the use our mugs. People can either come in and have a cup of coffee or take it and site outside, and return it – or put into the bin ( we will put out in the spring). Our first comment by a guest was… ” Great idea! I always see these styrofoam cups laying on the side of the street!” He took his mug outside and then returned it… I came upon this idea after reading an article about paper cups and how they are actually too hard to break down for composting that one coffee shop in Toronto stopped serving to- cups altogether . So, we will give it a go.

    The end is also coming near to our guests lining up in the church for dinner. For many volunteers, this idea seems to make sense and many guests commented about how nice it was to be warm, or to listen to the music at the various concert rehearsals that took place. One of our volunteers is a musician and his quartet played through the dinner prep and meal time as people waited. However, for some the walk through the church and then the rectory was a long one. It is a block long. And though people were appreciative this long walk sometimes had people laughing… For several people, this had been their first time in a church and many took the time to pray, walk around and ask questions.

    As people walked through the sacristy, then the rectory, it gave this place a whole other sense of welcoming or inclusion. The question was there, who belongs here beyond Sunday? Or simply, who belongs? It was also an exercise in opening our hearts to trust people walking through the ‘ sacred’ space of the office. I hold many questions and many things to ponder.

    One question however, is how can we end the line up? An idea might be to hold our meals in the church entrance when nothing else is going on. As we know from the 5pm potlucks, upwards to 80 people can have seat comfortably.  Just a question and thought as we strive to serve meals with dignity during the tough times in people’s lives.

    Food Bank needs: canned fruit, canned meat, canned vegetables, lentils , canned tomatoes, juice, snack bags, cereal.

    Meal time needs: sliced bread! Yes, we are running short on our sandwich making supplies.

    Next Meatloaf Sunday is March 21st.Thank you! Pans and sign up can be found at the welcome desk.



  • 06 Jan 2016 1:32 PM | Brandon Rushton (Administrator)

    News from around the Table...

    Happy New Year!

    Our Community Kitchen begins on Saturday, January 16th from 1pm- 4:30pm.  Come and learn some cooking skills, healthy eating habits and how to save money shopping. Register with Mike at Cost is $5.00 per class and you get four take home portions to eat during the week. Mike Collins, our cook coordinator specializes in community kitchens and is looking forward to launching this new endeavor.

    We are once again providing a community meal on January 31st at the Sandy Hill Winter Festival. The festival runs from 2pm – 6 pm the day and has fun activities for all ages!  Meal tickets can be purchased at the parish office beginning January 20th.

    Thank you for the great generosity shown through the Christmas Season. We were able to hand out extra food to our neighbours on December 22nd and 48 people received a little extra including turkeys and ham, extra veggies, dessert and bread.

    Set Feb 9th aside on your calendar as we will be providing a Shrove Tuesday meal from 5pm – 6:30pm Everyone is welcome.

    Your parish meatloaf is a hit and a favorite of our guests. If you want to make a meatloaf, sign up at the welcome desk and bring your meatloaf to the Supper Table kitchen on January 24th. Meatloaf will be served that Monday!

    Also take a look at Chopped Canada, Saturdays at 9pm in January( probably Jan 16th) , on one of the evening episodes you will meet Masoud, who makes the Halel meals we serve here every second Tuesday!

    We made a change to our drink menu this year. Instead of powdered ‘juice’ we will be adding powdered milk to our menu. We get a good deal by purchasing this through the food bank.

    Food Bank Needs: snack bags, canned milk, canned tomatoes, Canned fruit, cereal, cream soups, herbs and spices, small containers of cooking oil, tea.

    Meal Program Needs: To Go mugs to give away, ( we are looking to eliminate Styrofoam cups by February), Marjorine or butter( sometimes butter is on sale for 2.88/lb, ) coffee whitener,

    Thank you once again to our

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