A Glimpse at 2009 Food Donations

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Tracking the weight of food donations is another statistic that our program calculates each day and year, along with other statistics such as the Hunger Count, and how many hampers we do in a single day. In order to keep the records of food donations accurate the staff at our program are required to give this task a significant amount of attention throughout the whole day, as we can’t predict when a donation will arrive. Therefore we are required to stay on our toes because in a typical day our program will receive two or more donations at any point, whether it’s a program driver coming back with something from a local farm or a community member casually stopping by with a box of canned soup.

As soon as a donation arrives, the next step is to make a note of the donation either in the binder by our receiving door or on a scrap piece of paper to give to Nadir, one of the intake staff who is the main person responsible for maintaining our food donation database. And we’re fortunate that he hasn’t become bored with the project, sick of reminding staff to let him know of all the donations receive (we all slip up here and there – we’re only human!), or forgetful to ask the drivers and warehouse staff for a final total weight when he’s unable to unload the truck himself in the five years he’s been doing this project. The information that Nadir records for the food donation database is the date of the donation; the type of donation we received (i.e. potatoes, baby food, desserts, produce, milk, canned foods, bread, etc); who made the donation; and finally the estimated weight in pounds of the donation.

So now that I’ve described the process of filling in our database, let’s look at the final tallies over the years…

Year Total Donation Weight (lbs)
2006 189 285
2007 240 842
2008 321 666
2009 352 126
2010 (as of 9/1/2010) 227 644

Note: These calculations do not include any of the food items that we receive from the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

2009 has been our best year yet! 352 126 pounds is an astonishing amount of food to have donated in a single year. This is all thanks to many businesses, generous farmers, local community members, churches, and all our other supporters! As a result of 2009 being the best year for food donations, let’s take some time to reflect on some specifics aspects of those donations.

What are the top three most frequent donations by weight?

  1. Produce! Produce is our most frequent donation as it represents approximately 70% of all the donations we received in 2009, or approximately 247 000 pounds of food. This includes everything from apples to guavas to mushrooms to squash to yams. And potatoes! As our patrons have demonstrated in a previous blog, many patrons view potatoes as an important part of their meals; while for us potatoes represent a noteworthy chunk of our produce donations. A sizeable amount of the potatoes we receive come during our February Potato Blitz, but many farmers continue to show their support year round with consistent donations. (Many thanks to all those remarkable individuals and companies who shared their produce with us!)
  2. Our second contestant weighing in at 54 475 pounds, approximately 15% of our total donations for 2009, is….yogurt and milk!

    Together with the support of Mornington Dairy providing goat’s milk and Parmalat for their generous donations of yogurt, we are able to further supplement the cow’s milk that comes each week from the Food Bank. Neither Mornington Dairy nor Parmalat weighs in at a small amount in their donations. Mornington Dairy donated 37 364 pounds of goat’s milk, which many patrons have grown to love, and symbolizes approximately ten percent of our 2009 total donations. Parmalat provides approximately five percent of our total donations, or 16 600 pounds, through their many skids of yogurt that our program is given throughout the year. (What would we do without them?)
  3. Last but not least in our top three are all the bags of breads, buns and desserts that we receive each and every day.

    Collectively these three items put forth an estimated weight of 16 520 pounds and form approximately five percent of our total donations from 2009. These donations increase the levels of bread we have available for patrons in need of a hamper, and also help us fill the bread bins in our lobby for patrons just looking for a few extra items, instead of a full hamper.

Well let’s take a break here, as I’ve give you a lot to think about and mentioned a lot of thanks to many helpful donors. But there’s still plenty more to come! This blog has only touched the tip of the iceberg in talking about one of our many donations statistics. A later blog post will answer a few more very interesting questions – so stay tuned until next time for more!

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One Response to “A Glimpse at 2009 Food Donations”

  1. Volunteer Spotlight: Jon « Hofemergencyfoodassistance's Blog Says:

    […] willing to do some of the other warehouse jobs so that we can continually process through the many donations we receive each day. Thank […]

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