St. Paul's Hospital staff enjoying poke bowls donated by Pokkerito. Photo credit: Pokkerito

Community outpouring nourishes body and soul

April 14th, 2020

By Kris Wallace

Many of us remember the days when neighbours would rally around if someone in the community got sick or needed help. Often that meant leaving food in covered casserole dishes on the doorstep. Providing food to those in need is at the very core of what is most meaningful to us. And it’s driving what can best be described as an old fashioned casserole brigade at St. Paul’s Foundation and across PHC.

Over the last few weeks, Providence has been almost overwhelmed by offers of accommodation, transportation, and especially food. More than 50 local businesses and restaurants have reached out to provide meals, snacks, and drinks for frontline staff. The Foundation has taken on the task of coordinating all the generous gifts coming from our grateful community.

“Of course, they’re giving so much more than nutrition. They’re giving comfort and they’re lifting people’s spirits,” says Broek Bosma, the Foundation’s Chief Development Officer. “Our community feels a strong connection with our health care workers. And giving food in particular creates a powerful, spiritual bond between people. If you can’t thank someone in person, what’s the next best thing? Make sure they have a hot meal when they need it most.”

Bosma says the Foundation is especially proud that every PHC site is benefiting from this incredible generosity. Among many others, the Beedie Group has been providing meals to St. Paul’s and the Chinese Restaurant Awards to MSJ. This coming week, Nature’s Path and London Drugs will be donating a huge quantity of non-perishables to our long-term care homes (stringent infection control measures mean we cannot accept prepared meals).

In addition to coordinating all of the donations, the Foundation is literally supporting PHC with boots on the ground: 20% of Foundation staffers have been redeployed and are now working directly with PHC.

Want to help? Know someone who wants to donate? Email the Foundation at

St. Paul's Foundation