On the last Monday of each month, people in need are welcomed at Memorial Hall by members of the Cathedral Outreach Committee.
Between 8:30 - 10:00 a.m., volunteers hand out goodie bags containing fresh fruit, homemade muffins and cookies, a granola bar, a beverage and other food items such as cheese strings, soup packets and sandwiches.
Members of our congregation prepare food and donate funds to purchase non-perishable food items and gift cards. Other churches, such as New Maryland United Church and St. Margaret's Anglican Church also contribute to the Monday Outreach program.
Visitors, such as David M. being checked in by volunteer Ann Deveau, are always grateful for the treats and a $10 gift card to use at a local supermarket.
Bus tickets are also available as an alternative to supermarket gift cards. The City of Fredericton donated 100 single-ride bus tickets to the Cathedral Outreach Committee, one of 26 community agencies given an allotment of tickets. Outreach guests appreciate the chance for a free ride to attend medical appointments, access training, or look for work. The committee purchases additional bus tickets throughout the year to fulfill the need.
During the Monday Outreach program, visitors are also invited to choose items from a table of seasonal clothing and household items donated by members of the congregation. They are thankful for the the shirts, jackets, footwear, hats, sunglasses, water bottles, towels, and personal care items such as soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Guests are also made aware of other services in the community, such as a weekly breakfast program at Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church, a free clothing bank at The Drive Baptist Church, and the Greener Village food bank, learning kitchen and income tax services.
Typically, approximately fifty people in need attend the Cathedral's Monday Outreach program each month, with many regular visitors. While a majority of the guests are men, the program also sees women of all ages and occasionally children.
Throughout the pandemic, visitors have been appreciative of the continued support. Due to pandemic precautions, the program has been held as a drop-in program on the steps and lobby of Cathedral Memorial Hall. Guests look forward to a time when they may again be able to gather inside the Hall for music, conversation, and a buffet table.
One grateful guest delivered a card to program volunteers, which read, "On behalf of myself and people I've once known, I'd like to say how thankful I am to have received the blessings and gifts over the years. Thank you and from the bottom of not just my heart but others as well. You are angels."