Golden Egg Award

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If you’ve already read Matt’s post you’ll understand what this award is for, otherwise click here. I’m here to shine the spotlight on the month where we were able to provide the best nutritional hampers overall in 2010 November!

But first let’s briefly reflect on what was going on in November:

  • Our program was busy packing 2 691 hampers to share with 2 387 households;
  • The intake staff were helping numerous patrons fill out their Christmas hamper applications (read more here);
  • Many food hamper programs were slowly limiting their services, to make allowances for volunteers busy family schedules and to begin preparing themselves to offer special Christmas food assistance programs and services in December;
  • And many patrons were trying to prepare their budgets for the upcoming holiday season, as utility bills started to pile up, as seasonal employment levels fluctuated and those on limited incomes (such as CPP and OW) try to fit in special items like gifts and a turkey into their budgets.

November was clearly a busy time for many people for many different reasons. I’ve given you a short list of the highlights in November but that is  only part of the bigger picture.  The November, December and January period are very difficult for a lot of people for a huge host of reasons.

Therefore it’s no surprise to anyone here that on average we distributed approximately 142 hampers each day we were open, which is a lot – but we’ve had busier days (read about it here) and months. However on top of the hustle and bustle of serving all these hampers, we had a tremendous amount of food donations to process and pass along.

For example we received a total of four shipments of goat’s milk which worked out to more than 600 litres.  Getting a hold of this milk was just part of the daily schedule for our drivers as they made their way across the region to pick up this and many other generous donations. But it’s also kept the volunteers in our warehouse busy by needing to stock the milk cooler throughout the day to keep up with the demand. On top of this we also had our regular dairy products (thanks to the Food Bank and the donors it works with) like yogurt, cow’s milk and cream for many other hampers.

But, as we’ve written in many other posts, we give out more than just milk. Some of the other donations that made this month special and definitely increased to the high overall averages for food within the month are:

  • Each day we received about two banana box sized containers of donuts, along with a large bag or two of bread and buns from Nova Era bakery. Also many other bakeries supplied us with many bread racks of breads, buns, and English muffins.
  • About 510 pounds of canned goods, which equals about six heaping full grocery carts, came to us from various churches and anonymous community members.
  • We also received a tremendous variety of produce, especially mushrooms and squash. This was at the tail end of a remarkable growing season that kept many local farmers working in their fields long hours and resulted in a tremendous surplus that they were happy to share with us.

Overall November was a great month for food and volunteers. We had a lot of support from many donors throughout the month, which definitely made our job of distributing healthy food easier. Also having many people available to help sort through the many donations or pack one of the many hampers throughout the month was a blessing. If only every month was this good!

While things were great in November, other months were not so great. Each day fluctuates based on daily donations. So stay tuned for the details on the rotten egg of the dozen (April) in my next post.

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