‘A second family’: Friendship Inn offers free Easter lunch in Saskatoon

Jody Buckley is expecting 1,000 meals to be served this year

Jody Buckley says the Friendship Inn has seen an uptick in people using their services. (CBC)

This year Saskatoon’s Friendship Inn is planning to serve 1,000 meals to those in the community that otherwise could not afford an Easter lunch.

Jody Buckley, the volunteer and event coordinator at the Friendship Inn, says the meal offers people who are on their own camaraderie, and security for families. Unfortunately, Buckley says she has seen more people in need of the organization’s services.

“It’s tough. It’s tough seeing families and individuals come in and know that they’re not having these meals at home and that they turned to us as a second family that they can come to and have a meal with us,” she said.

In Saskatoon the United Way announced that it was dealing with a $1-million shortfall in its operating budget. Buckley says like many other groups offering assistance the Friendship Inn is seeing increased demand for it’s services.

“We’ve seen a steady increase over the years. the economy is really tough on us so we see those families that used to be able to have a meal at home now have to turn to the Friendship Inn to make sure that they do have the holiday meal that they’re looking for,” said

Buckley says the people that come to the Inn for a meal are so thankful for the gesture.

“It’s great knowing that you can help as many people as you can and know that we’re making a difference in the community,” she said.

But what makes her happiest is when people no longer need their help. Buckley says from time to time she will speak with volunteers who once went for meals to the Friendship Inn.

“It’s absolutely rewarding to hear those stories and the hear the successes within the community.”

Lunch will be served from 11:45 a.m. CST to about 1:15 p.m. but times will depend on how many people attend.

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