Integrated Community Ministry (ICM) is a United Church of Canada ministry located in Saskatoon’s core neighbourhood on the western edge of the downtown. Like so many community ministries, it is in a constant process of adapting to the challenges caused by COVID.
Director Chantalle writes, “I want to tell you about this past month. Once again, we distributed over 160 food hampers and served over 350 nutritious meals to our neighbours and friends.
We’ve been doing this almost every week since COVID struck, but it still feels odd. Community connection and bringing people together into what is known as a safe space in the community has always been essential in our work at ICM, but once COVID changed the way we engage with family, friends, volunteers, and neighbours, we were forced to keep our distance to keep people safe.
It’s an odd position to be in; making sure things stay the same while having to reimagine and innovate current and new ways for ICM to be. Our takeaway meals are still cooked with love by our Essential Voices staff, and they highlight healthy, delicious, and culturally appropriate ingredients.
On ICM Community Pantry and Food Box Distribution Day, Janice P. and Lexie B. make sure that all are welcome and leave with the very best we have to offer. always with an eye to what future development might look like.
As Director, I am doing my best to act as a knowledgeable advocate and guide to the community folks that are struggling the most. Often when people stop by for a meal or food box, I am able to reconnect with old friends or make new ones. Last month alone, over 50 people reached out by phone or in-person looking for community resources, needing an advocate to speak with other community stakeholders to secure personal and family resources, obtain clarification on available services, or just to talk freely in a safe space. These are the most energy-giving parts of my work.
I think that one of our Essential Voices Staff said it best:
” ICM has become an Essential Service in the community.”
Given that the nearest food, mental health, and community services advocacy can be up to 50 blocks away from the people in our community that need it most, I agree: ICM has become an Essential Service in our community.”
For more information on what ICM has been up to and regarding some of the community-led initiatives happening soon, read on for more stories, and photos of the ICM team in action.
Director of River Bend Integrated Community Ministries
226 Ave. V South
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7M 3E3
306 653 2662 – Office Cell
ICM’s Mission Statement:
“To build relationships of solidarity, justice, compassion, and respect among individuals, congregations, and community organizations in the Core Neighbourhoods of Saskatoon.”