The 16th Community Dinner season came to a close April 9, with a meal prepared by Town Council and members of the municipal management team. The 13-week season saw more than 3,300 people break bread together at the Jasper Activity Centre.
On average 250 Jasperites attended the Sunday dinners each week; however, the Jasper Rotary Club's Syrian dinner doubled that number, with more than 500 diners turning up to try a menu of traditional Syrian foods.
The Community Dinner program is an initiative of Community Outreach Services (COS). It started in 2002, when Marmot Basin delayed its opening because of a lack of snow, leaving dozens of young adults with no income as they waited for their jobs to start.
It was in an effort to help those seasonal workers that COS launched the Community Dinner program, but over the last 16 years the weekly dinners have become much more than a hot meal. These days, Jasperites of all ages and backgrounds gather each Sunday throughout the winter to share a meal, meet new people and catch up with old friends.
The dinners are made by a different group of volunteers each week and are offered by donation, making them accessible to all of Jasper’s residents. This season, nearly 200 volunteers took part in the program, offering their time in the kitchen, serving, setting up and cleaning up.
COS would like to thank everyone who lent a hand, helping us to create community, one dinner at a time.
Community Dinners will return in January 2018.