My favorite dinner of the week

If I had to share advice with a new student at UVic or someone who is trying to find a positive community, I would tell them to go to the student dinners at Emmanuel Baptist Church. They might think “I am not religious, I should not go to the church…”. Being religious or not is not the point of the student dinner. It is about bringing the community together, sharing kindness with each other and… free healthy food!

Why are these my favorite dinners of the week?

They bring the community together, they serve amazing food, the volunteers are grateful to have us there and they promote a positive environment.

Most Tuesdays throughout the term the Emmanuel Baptist Church offers a community market starting at around 12:00 pm where people are invited to get free food (truly free, no strings attached). This food has been donated from different organizations and supermarkets. No food goes to waste!

Afterwards we are invited to stay and study in the main hall. There is a lot of room, and the space is quiet and peaceful. As time passes you start seeing classmates you hadn’t seen in years. For example, I was able to reconnect with some of my friends from first and second years during many of the dinners. Alternatively you can meet new people! Sometimes the best feeling was to sit in a new table filled with strangers. You could either work or talk and get to know them.

By 6:00 pm there would be community announcements and we would give thanks for our food. Announcements included students recitals, events and festivals. I made an announcement when I lost my red coat, remember? After I found it I was pretty much famous and people would recognize me because of the red coat! Finally, we would sit together and eat the wonderful food.

I know we are many students who are deeply grateful for the work they do and the welcoming community they have created. Check out this video with some of the dinner’s highlights!


Finally, go to their website or Facebook page to know when the dinners are happening, how you can help or to see some of the drawings students have done during the dinners!

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