Gathering Place - The Power of Good Food

Dennis The Gathering Place.jpg

This is Dennis, I have never met him in person, but the joy, energy & life that emanates from him just screams welcome and come on by for dinner! I just want to pull up a stool, grab a peeler or whatever is needed and hear the story of this man and the lives he has touched.

Dennis is the Executive Director of The Gathering Place in North Bay, Ontario. I first learned of the Gathering Place through a tragedy, one of my dearest friends family member passed away. The Gathering Place was listed as a place this admired man had a great heart for. I don’t typically like sending flowers to these occasions, and so this felt like a way to honour such an amazing man and carry on his legacy of love just a little further - like a symbolic passing of the baton, kindness continues long after we leave this earth.

As we started thinking about Thanksgiving dinners and who we might bless, this organization came to the top of the list, and I was so grateful that we were able to logistically work out getting the ice cream there in time for their dinner to approx 100 people.

The Gathering Place’s vision is simple - To provide a hot meal in a warm environment to those in need, while building a healthier community. One of their core values struck me though as being interesting and makes me love this organization even more…. “provide excellent service” - the most marginalized people rarely get service let alone excellent service - and isn’t that how is should be? Isn’t that the ultimate in providing dignity to those who may be in a challenging season?

The Gathering Place has grown and evolved over the years but their core of addressing food insecurity issues in the community remains their strength. Programs include:

  • daily drop-in meals,

  • a community garden space,

  • cooking education,

  • food rescue,

  • and numerous volunteer opportunities.

The Gathering Place receives no core funding from the government; it is funded entirely by community donations and annual fundraising events.

There are so many ways to get involved -

Good Food is powerful, it nourishes the body and the soul, and getting the chance to share that food with others is the best gift that can be given.

By the way Dennis, you look Udderly Ridiculous in Blue - and we mean that in the most complimentary way possible!

Till next blog,


Cheryl Haskett