INSIDE SCOOP: Agape Centre invites community to open house

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By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario - The Agape Centre is opening its doors to showcase its facilities and to give a unique glimpse into the ins and outs of running the city's largest food bank and only soup kitchen.

Staff and volunteers at the Agape Centre will be on hand to answer questions and provide 20-minute tours during an open house on Wednesday, August 27, from 6 to 8:00 p.m.

"We have changed since 1971 and want to highlight our key programs especially some of the newer ones that have been quite successful over the summer,” said Alyssa Blais, executive director of the Agape Centre. “We are more than just an emergency food bank.

The Agape Centre kicked off a community cooking series in late June. Their free programs Curious Chefs: A Cooking Club for Kids and Around the Table: Healthy Eating on a Budget were completely booked within a month.

The Centre's soup kitchen serves, on average, 110 meals a day. And every month more than 1,100 people use their food bank - of which 40 per cent are children.

Kendra Smith, volunteer coordinator, said it takes almost 100 active volunteers to keep the Agape Centre running.

Her role is to "coordinate, recruit, train, retain and appreciate volunteers and placement students."

"I always enjoy giving tours of the centre because when people see the size of the building and scope of our services and operations, they can really understand what we do on a daily basis," said Smith.

During the event, the thrift store will be privately opened for visitors to shop. The open house also features coffee, tea and snacks.

RSVP is requested by phone at (613) 938-9297 ext. 21 or by email: volunteercoordinator@agapecentre.ca.

The Agape Centre is located at 40 Fifth Street West, Cornwall.

For more information, visit agapecentre.ca.

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