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What is 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. 

Partnership with Shelter Nova Scotia 

Joan’s Table works in partnership with Shelter Nova Scotia. 

"It’s hard to understand why food isn’t considered a basic need or right in current social systems. Housing programs at Herring Cove Apartments and The Rebuilding receive Federal and Provincial government support but neither are eligible for food costs. Feed Nova Scotia, an outstanding organization, is cautious to take additional programs in case they can’t fulfill their commitment.  There are no viable options. 


Regular meals assist individuals make good decisions and stabilize lives. We are so grateful that Joan’s Table donors understand that truth.  Joan’s Table is saving lives.  This is not an exaggeration." 

- Linda Wilson, Executive Director of Shelter Nova Scotia 

Shelter Nova Scotia is a non-profit organization that operates six facilities in Halifax. The mission is to grow a continuum of services to help people transition from crisis back to community. Shelter Nova Scotia's reach extends beyond shelter to include housing support, mental health, and addiction services, impacting 1300 people each year. 

Herring Cove Apartments
The Rebuilding
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The Herring Cove Apartments, established in 2015 by Shelter Nova Scotia, is an affordable, supportive living environment dedicated to individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness and who have a long history of alcohol dependency. 


The Herring Cove Apartments house 12 adults who identify as male. 

With 24/7 onsite staff, tenants are given help to identify personal goals and build social relationships. They also receive assistance with medication and money management skills.

The 12 tenants live in three four-bedroom apartments, with a shared living room and kitchen. There is a staff office, kitchen, and communal gathering place on the first floor. 

A combination of government and non-profit funding covers program, staff, and building costs. But, there is no budget for food.

​The Rebuilding is a supported apartment complex for 19 individuals. It offers individual housing for tenants referred from the community "by name" list. Employees are available to support tenants on a 24/7 basis and are on-site daily.


The rooms are a selection of bachelor and one bedroom units. The units are fully furnished, there is coffee and a milk program, a common room and shared laundry, as well as internet and telephone access.


The average age of a tenant at The Rebuilding is 54.   The tenants at The Rebuilding rely heavily on the food resources in the community and are in true need of stable reliable nourishment.  When opened in 2012, the name was coined by a tenant in recognition of how this space symbolizes the rebuilding of lives.  

The Herring Cove Apartments and The Rebuilding are guided by Housing First Principles

The tenants  

Ranging in age from 31 to 76 years - all individuals are surviving long and challenging life journeys. Many have lived at the hands of abuse and trauma. Some are veterans. The apartments are a safe place to live, heal, rest, and in some cases, die with dignity. 


​Tenants contribute financially to housing, but the cost of food is not within reach.  A hearty meal provides nourishment to the mind and body. A meal is the best way to regain health, forge a positive community, and achieve dignity, and companionship.

Why contribute to Joan's Table? 
  • Volunteer from your own kitchen on your own time

  • Fight homelessness

  • Make a meaningful impact

  • Receive immediate feedback 

  • Enjoy making a delicious meal

  • Team up with co-workers, neighbors, or friends 

  • Join a diverse group of volunteers 

Together we have... 
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  • Grown to a team of 180 volunteers

  • Prepared and delivered over 822 meals

  • ​Consistently provided Holiday meals (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years) 

  • Provided holiday gifts for each tenant for three years

  • Donated over $41 300

  • Secured Sobey's Spryfield as a partner 

  • Funded:

    • An extra-large fridge​

    • A BBQ

    • A deep freezer

    • A stove

    • Coffee makers 

    • Microwaves 

    • A karaoke machine 

    • Sobey's Gift cards 

    • An ongoing "activity program" where tenants sign up for chores (lawn care, gardening work, and cleaning) and receive a Sobey’s gift card for their effort. 

In honour of Joan Mayo

​Joan’s Table was founded in September 2017 by Catherine Mayo Woodman and Maura Woodman in honour of mother and grandmother – Joan Mayo. 

Coming from a generation of women who used their kitchens to build community, Joan’s life centered on service, kindness, family, and faith.  What began as one meal in her memory is now a community effort, also supported by Joan’s daughters and grandchildren across Canada. 


“Mom would have loved this little gem of an idea because it’s real and it’s meaningful.”

-Margie Mayo Heard   

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