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Cambridge man offers free community breakfast for those in need

'I wanted to do something different and invite people, especially new people into the church to have breakfast and get warm'
Andrew Cann and fellow volunteer, Vern Platt at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Hespeler.

Andrew Cann was looking for another way to reach out to his community.

The retired Cambridge man thought what better way to help those most vulnerable get a good start to their day than with a free community breakfast, and some fellowship.

“It’s getting colder. I thought I’d start this up and I’ll keep it rolling as long as I can. Our church is very big on outreach. We believe in just getting out in the community and helping out where we can,” Cann said.

‘Andy’s Free Community Breakfast’ is offered every Monday morning from 6:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. at the rear entrance of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Hespeler.

“Everyone is welcome,” Cann said.

“We’ve had church community suppers, and those will be starting up again, once a month on Thursday nights. I wanted to do something different and invite people, especially new people into the church to have breakfast and get warm.”

In the few weeks since Cann began offering free breakfasts, the menu changes each week from eggs one week, to French toast or pancakes the next. And the number of visitors continues to grow.

“We started out with about five people and this week we had about 15. I see that people really need it. For some, with the colder weather, it’s difficult for them, especially for those who don’t have cars,” Cann said.

“Some are older, and don’t even want breakfast. They just come in for a coffee and a chat. Then there are others who really need something to eat. They can come in and have a nice warm breakfast.”

Cann says he recognizes some of the people visiting for breakfast from the church's Hope Clothing program.  

Hope Clothing operates out of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Hespeler.  

“This is another part of our outreach. This is open to anyone, especially today with the high cost of everything. Come down and get some clothes if you need them,” Cann said.

The organization offers free clothing for those in need including men, women, and children. Hope Clothing is available every Tuesday for in-person shopping between 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. On Thursdays, it is open from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., offering clothing items and a food bank.

Hope Clothing welcomes anyone, from those who need extra help making ends meet, refugees, parents of young children who quickly outgrow their clothes, and those who are trying to be environmentally responsible by re-using.

Hope Clothing accepts donations of new or gently used clothing which can be dropped off at the glass doors just off of the church parking lot on Queen Street on Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Having a warm breakfast available on Monday mornings is something Cann hopes will expand.

“If it does, great. When I started, I didn’t know what to expect but it’s been growing these last few weeks. Word must be getting out,” Cann said.

“I’m retired, so I have the time and I’ll keep this going.”

For anyone wanting to help with a financial donation to support the purchase of breakfast items, or to Hope Clothing can do so at the church office.

For more information, visit here.

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Barbara Latkowski

About the Author: Barbara Latkowski

Barbara graduated with a Masters degree in Journalism from Western University and has covered politics, arts and entertainment, health, education, sports, courts, social justice, and issues that matter to the community. She joined CambridgeToday in 2021
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