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More Places at the Table: Joan’s Table expansion promotes food security

Shelter Nova Scotia is thrilled that Joan’s Table, a volunteer-based meal program, is expanding to include both our supported housing facilities, Herring Cove Apartments and The Rebuilding.

Joan's Table, championed by mother and daughter duo Catherine and Maura Woodman, provides regular meals enhancing food security for our supported housing tenants. The program launched in 2017 and has provided over 820 nutritious, lovingly prepared meals for our Herring Cove Apartment tenants in Spryfield.

This decision to "set more places at the table" represents a big challenge and will need even more volunteers and generous support for success. Joan's Table volunteers make a difference in the lives of our tenants every day and this expansion will double the impact.

​Joan’s Table volunteers schedule themselves for meal dates and provide enough food for all 12 tenants in Herring Cove. The goal is to provide evening meals for as many nights of the week as possible including special occasion dinners and birthdays.

Joan’s Table approach is modified for the larger Rebuilding facility, which has 19 tenants. The group is striving to "fill the table" on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Given the additional mouths to feed, the schedule allows volunteers to contribute portions of a meal as part of a potluck style dinner and not be responsible for the entire meal. Donors also have the option

to coordinate the full meal drawing on friends, family, or coworkers to contribute. Meals that are not adopted, either in full or part, can be supplemented with food supplies purchased with Joan’s Table financial contributions or through food security funding obtained by Shelter Nova Scotia through a Second Harvest grant.

“Our two supported housing programs receive support from the federal and provincial government in different forms, but neither are eligible for food costs, says Shelter Nova Scotia Executive Director Linda Wilson.

Joan’s Table volunteers have made a profound difference for the tenants at Herring Cove. "Regular meals help individuals make good decisions and stabilize lives", says Linda. "We're so grateful that Joan’s Table donors understand this truth. Joan’s Table is saving lives. This is not an exaggeration. Thank you for the difference you make and sharing your kindness with tenants at The Rebuilding.”

Joan’s Table expansion has been also generously funded by Halifax Regional Councillors Patty Cuttell and Lindell Smith with municipal funding grants to support volunteer recruitment and training.

Joan’s Table is seeking increase the volunteer roster, adding both regular and occasional contributors. “We know this expansion will further our goals to address homelessness and enable accessible acts of kindness from a caring community,” says Catherine Woodman, Joan’s Table co-founder and regular meal contributor. “We believe in the generosity of this community to respond with love and purpose. We ask everyone to please support this new phase of Joan’s Table by helping with a meal, making a financial gift, or spreading the word.”

Further information and a link to register for a meal donation is on the Joan’s Table website at Our website, also includes a link to Joan’s Table on our volunteer page.

About Joan’s Table

Joan’s Table is a meal donation program for individuals who experienced long-term homelessness. Through community coordination, we make and deliver meals on a routine basis to tenants of The Herring Cove Apartments and The Rebuilding.

About Shelter Nova Scotia

Shelter Nova Scotia supports people in times of crisis and transition through residential, trustee and outreach programs. We operate seven facilities in HRM: one drop-in Housing Hub community centre and six overnight or residential facilities that provide a night of rest for up to 106 people 365 days a year. We offer far more than shelter - our community client and housing support workers, in tandem with our colleagues working in mental health and addiction services, support 1,300 people in our community annually.

About Herring Cove Apartments

Herring Cove Apartments is a supported living environment for individuals who identify as male or are gender diverse and are experiencing long term alcohol dependence and have a history of homelessness. We provide supported, affordable housing to up to 12 people in the form of shared apartments, enabling our tenants to create a sense of community.

About The Rebuilding

The Rebuilding is a supported apartment complex for 19 individuals who identify as male or are gender diverse. It offers individual housing for tenants referred from the community "by name" list who have barriers to maintaining stable housing and require support services.

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