Mosque, synagogue unite in effort to feed homeless youth

News Jan 26, 2011 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Scarborough's only homeless shelter for youth will soon be getting its breakfasts courtesy of a local mosque and a North York synagogue.

The Islamic Foundation of Toronto last week announced its members will raise money for one year so Second Base Youth Shelter on Kennedy Road can continue giving young clients a hot and balanced meal each morning.

In an example of bridge-building between faiths, volunteers from the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Darchei Noam will do the cooking and serving when the Feeding Faithfully program starts in February.

With 56 beds (Second Base opens 10 more during extreme cold alerts), there could be more than 20,440 hot meals to serve.

Both faith communities are part of a network of synagogues and mosques that aims to foster better understanding between Muslims and Jews. Each has made a commitment to addressing social needs, especially poverty and homelessness, said Myer Siemiatycki, president of Darchei Noam.

"That's something our traditions have in common," he said, adding he expects the Sheppard Avenue synagogue in Downsview will also make a long-term pledge to help the shelter.

The mosque, on Nugget Avenue near Markham Road, already has a Saturday soup kitchen that has grown since 2006 from serving around 35 people a week to supplying 750 full meals, either in the Islamic Foundation cafeteria or delivered to shelters or to families who can't reach the mosque.

"We have close to 30 volunteers who are serving," and a dozen or so more delivering food, said Waris Malik, the mosque's event co-ordinator.

When Second Base's executive director Paul Taylor called the mosque after seeing a news report on the soup kitchen, the Islamic Foundation was happy to help supply the kind of breakfast it's believed will help homeless or street-involved youth do better at school or work.

"We really want these youth to go back into a normal life," Malik said.

The breakfast program had expanded lately from basics such as cereal and milk to heartier fare such as bacon and eggs. With a daily need to get 56 teenagers up at 7 a.m., the meals provided "the best way to get them out of bed," Taylor said.

Unfortunately, the shelter's food service budget doesn't cover the added expenses.

"We were looking at having to discontinue the program," Taylor said.

Second Base's executive chef, he added last week, will meet a dietitian and youth at the shelter to develop a new breakfast menu.

Cooking the breakfasts will be done at Second Base, where culinary skills are already providing some youths with a way off the street.

The shelter runs a catering service, Second Helping, which has supplied food to events held by area social agencies and politicians, as well as a pre-apprenticeship program for assistant cooks who can continue to learn the trade at Toronto's George Brown College.

Mosque, synagogue unite in effort to feed homeless youth

Scarborough's Second Base Youth Shelter benefits from breakfast program

News Jan 26, 2011 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Scarborough's only homeless shelter for youth will soon be getting its breakfasts courtesy of a local mosque and a North York synagogue.

The Islamic Foundation of Toronto last week announced its members will raise money for one year so Second Base Youth Shelter on Kennedy Road can continue giving young clients a hot and balanced meal each morning.

In an example of bridge-building between faiths, volunteers from the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Darchei Noam will do the cooking and serving when the Feeding Faithfully program starts in February.

With 56 beds (Second Base opens 10 more during extreme cold alerts), there could be more than 20,440 hot meals to serve.

Both faith communities are part of a network of synagogues and mosques that aims to foster better understanding between Muslims and Jews. Each has made a commitment to addressing social needs, especially poverty and homelessness, said Myer Siemiatycki, president of Darchei Noam.

"That's something our traditions have in common," he said, adding he expects the Sheppard Avenue synagogue in Downsview will also make a long-term pledge to help the shelter.

The mosque, on Nugget Avenue near Markham Road, already has a Saturday soup kitchen that has grown since 2006 from serving around 35 people a week to supplying 750 full meals, either in the Islamic Foundation cafeteria or delivered to shelters or to families who can't reach the mosque.

"We have close to 30 volunteers who are serving," and a dozen or so more delivering food, said Waris Malik, the mosque's event co-ordinator.

When Second Base's executive director Paul Taylor called the mosque after seeing a news report on the soup kitchen, the Islamic Foundation was happy to help supply the kind of breakfast it's believed will help homeless or street-involved youth do better at school or work.

"We really want these youth to go back into a normal life," Malik said.

The breakfast program had expanded lately from basics such as cereal and milk to heartier fare such as bacon and eggs. With a daily need to get 56 teenagers up at 7 a.m., the meals provided "the best way to get them out of bed," Taylor said.

Unfortunately, the shelter's food service budget doesn't cover the added expenses.

"We were looking at having to discontinue the program," Taylor said.

Second Base's executive chef, he added last week, will meet a dietitian and youth at the shelter to develop a new breakfast menu.

Cooking the breakfasts will be done at Second Base, where culinary skills are already providing some youths with a way off the street.

The shelter runs a catering service, Second Helping, which has supplied food to events held by area social agencies and politicians, as well as a pre-apprenticeship program for assistant cooks who can continue to learn the trade at Toronto's George Brown College.

Mosque, synagogue unite in effort to feed homeless youth

Scarborough's Second Base Youth Shelter benefits from breakfast program

News Jan 26, 2011 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Scarborough's only homeless shelter for youth will soon be getting its breakfasts courtesy of a local mosque and a North York synagogue.

The Islamic Foundation of Toronto last week announced its members will raise money for one year so Second Base Youth Shelter on Kennedy Road can continue giving young clients a hot and balanced meal each morning.

In an example of bridge-building between faiths, volunteers from the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Darchei Noam will do the cooking and serving when the Feeding Faithfully program starts in February.

With 56 beds (Second Base opens 10 more during extreme cold alerts), there could be more than 20,440 hot meals to serve.

Both faith communities are part of a network of synagogues and mosques that aims to foster better understanding between Muslims and Jews. Each has made a commitment to addressing social needs, especially poverty and homelessness, said Myer Siemiatycki, president of Darchei Noam.

"That's something our traditions have in common," he said, adding he expects the Sheppard Avenue synagogue in Downsview will also make a long-term pledge to help the shelter.

The mosque, on Nugget Avenue near Markham Road, already has a Saturday soup kitchen that has grown since 2006 from serving around 35 people a week to supplying 750 full meals, either in the Islamic Foundation cafeteria or delivered to shelters or to families who can't reach the mosque.

"We have close to 30 volunteers who are serving," and a dozen or so more delivering food, said Waris Malik, the mosque's event co-ordinator.

When Second Base's executive director Paul Taylor called the mosque after seeing a news report on the soup kitchen, the Islamic Foundation was happy to help supply the kind of breakfast it's believed will help homeless or street-involved youth do better at school or work.

"We really want these youth to go back into a normal life," Malik said.

The breakfast program had expanded lately from basics such as cereal and milk to heartier fare such as bacon and eggs. With a daily need to get 56 teenagers up at 7 a.m., the meals provided "the best way to get them out of bed," Taylor said.

Unfortunately, the shelter's food service budget doesn't cover the added expenses.

"We were looking at having to discontinue the program," Taylor said.

Second Base's executive chef, he added last week, will meet a dietitian and youth at the shelter to develop a new breakfast menu.

Cooking the breakfasts will be done at Second Base, where culinary skills are already providing some youths with a way off the street.

The shelter runs a catering service, Second Helping, which has supplied food to events held by area social agencies and politicians, as well as a pre-apprenticeship program for assistant cooks who can continue to learn the trade at Toronto's George Brown College.