Driven by creativity and resourcefulness, Trinity Youth Project (TYP) has adapted its ministry to continue to meet the needs of vulnerable members of society in these uncertain times.
TYP continues to provide employment opportunities through its baking program which also now supports food ministries in the Edmonton diocese. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the TYP baking program catered church functions, from coffee hours to synods, and was a regular contributor to city markets. Now it has been adapted to help meet urgent food security needs.
“Two of our senior youth bakers have been baking 800-900 whole wheat buns every week for Manna Market (All Saints’ Cathedral), and PrayerWorks (St. Faith’s),” says Clark Hardy, Outreach Youth Coordinator for the Edmonton diocese.
As TYP is not currently able to generate additional income from catering, costs associated with purchasing supplies and paying the bakers have been covered by Holy Trinity Old Strathcona, St. Faith’s, and a generous donor.
The bakers follow Alberta Health Services protocol, such as washing their hands frequently and thoroughly, and wearing face masks and staying two meters apart when in the kitchen.
Hardy delivers the buns to the Cathedral for their Manna Market grocery bags which are filled with fresh produce and distributed every Wednesday. Archdeacon Travis Enright, or a volunteer from the Prayer Works community meals program, pick up buns which are used in the takeaway meals served at St. Faith’s from Wednesday to Saturday each week.
In order to continue to support youth who are making an effort to stay home and self-isolate, TYP provides bi-weekly care packages. The care packs have included fresh produce from Manna Market, hand sanitizer donated by Strathcona Spirits Distillery, non-perishable food items, and face masks that Hardy made on a borrowed sewing machine.
“A few of our youth have their own housing, and others are couch surfing, or staying with friends,” says Hardy.
In addition to the baking program, the youth project offers an art program. The young artists, some of whom participate in art classes at the Edmonton Young Offender Center, had been looking forward to sharing their work with the public at the Edmonton Public Library, Old Strathcona Branch, but the art exhibit “Sings the Tune Without the Words” has been put on hold due to the pandemic. In the meantime, art coordinator Alma Visscher will include art kits in the care packs, and offer online art classes for youth that are able to access the internet. Hardy is also discussing the possibility of continuing the project’s art programming remotely for the youth at the Edmonton Young Offender Centre.
“We are also working with one of our volunteers to set up online cooking classes,” says Hardy. “For the cooking classes we will provide all the ingredients and the recipes and we are hoping we can do some live videos to be able to interact with the youth.”
“We are doing our best to make sure our youth still feel supported and connected to community, even as we all have to follow the current public health orders,” he says. “This past weekend two of our youth celebrated their birthdays, and we were able to drop off cakes that one of our volunteers baked and decorated for them.”
If you are able to deliver care packs, or would like to donate grocery gift cards to the Trinity Youth Project, please email email@example.com .