Save the Ashland Community Peace Meal in Pioneer Hall

Save the Ashland Community Peace Meal in Pioneer Hall

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Vanessa Houk started this petition to Ashland Parks Department

Let's start with this-- we've watched people begin to change their lives at the community peace meals. It looks like what we do is feed people, and we do that with great abundance, but it's what happens when community is built that the real magic begins to take root. We begin every meal with a few announcements, including one that recognizes and thanks the parks department and the city of Ashland for their partnership in helping to ensure that there's a place at the table for everyone. We tell people that the cost of admission is to go be kind to someone else. We call what our volunteers do, love in action and every week I watch that effort as it heals the people around us, volunteers and guests alike.

For more than 3 years now we have been able to use Pioneer hall for the Friday Peace Meal and thanks to the support of our city administrator, we were gifted use of the space for near daily meals to help get folks through the winter. We serve meals 5 days a week which along with the other community meals, ensures that there's a hot meal in Ashland for anyone in need every day of the week. This all volunteer effort happens because of our team of volunteers who recognize that real hunger exists here. I estimate that we've surpassed well over 46,000 meals served. Without the daily meals in place, our most vulnerable neighbors will go hungry.

We ask that the parks department reconsider their decision and allow us to continue to use Pioneer Hall for the Friday Peace Meals as our contract states. Keeping that one day in place is critical because for many of our unhoused neighbors, the Friday peace meal is their one consistent place/services that they count on year round. For many of the people we serve, Pioneer Hall represents the closest thing they have to a home.

In addition we recognize that the loss of Pioneer Hall is a hardship for our volunteers and it jeopardizes the culinary training program we've been building.

We the undersigned ask the Ashland Parks department to ensure that the Friday Peace Meal continues in Pioneer Hall regardless of the closure of the Community Center. We ask that you help us continue to be able to provide these crucial services (a warm meal, the giving tables which provide free clothing and other crucial supplies on a weekly basis, a space for the Street Dog outreach team to work out of so that pets of low income people can receive food and other care, and to continue to foster a community that aspires to take better care of each other.)

Thank you.

PS-- if you would like to donate to help keep the Peace Meal going, please visit the following link. We are a project of Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice, a 501(c).

Click on the street outreach tab to reach the donation button.thank you! 

Www.sojwj.org 

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