Students made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to hand out to homeless people on the streets of downtown Toronto. Photo by Augustine Ng

U of T and Ryerson Catholic students feed the hungry

By  Augustine Ng, Youth Speak News
  • March 27, 2015

PHOTO GALLERY: YSN reporter Augustine Ng captures students preparing sandwiches before delivering them to people experiencing homelessness on the streets.

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The Newman Catholic Students’ Club at University of Toronto gathered in the Newman chapel for its monthly street patrol discussion, but this time they were joined by some new faces.

On March 20, the Ryerson Catholic Students’ Association teamed up with the Newman Catholic Students’ Club for this month’s street patrol. This was the first big collaboration between the two university Catholic groups.

Students from both schools introduced themselves to each other over their sandwich-making stations. Then, they were then split up into two teams. There are two different routes that the Newman Catholic Students’ Club usually takes. One goes east and one goes west. With a mix of U of T and Ryerson students in each group, the two teams set out to feed the less fortunate in downtown Toronto.

“(Ryerson Catholics) brought their knowledge of the area that we were in,” said Natalie Doummar, main organizer of the collaboration and a second-year concurrent education student at U of T.

The route Doummar took was very close to the Ryerson campus. Since the students from Ryerson were more familiar with that area, they were able to find more less fortunate to get the food to.

For three years, the Newman Catholic Students’ Club has organized a street patrol ever the third or fourth Friday of the month. Usually the Newman Catholic Students’ Club would walk all the way back to Newman at U of T after finishing their route.

That Friday, the Ryerson Catholic Students invited them into their newly renovated space.

“This is a pretty good plan,” said Doummar, “We’re usually already here so it might be a good idea to end the street patrol here more often.”

Both groups said they are likely to collaborate again in the future.  

“It’s always good to connect people together, especially young Catholics,” said Doummar.

“We’re expanding our Catholic community and recognizing our brothers and sisters on a campus that’s really just across the way,” said Allison Belen, president of Ryerson Catholics and a third-year social work student at Ryerson. “Our community extends further through the city than we realize.”

(Ng, 17, is a first-year journalism student at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ont.)

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