Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ Category

Ten Days Of Food Hampers At The Food Hamper Program: Part One

October 26, 2015

Today I am happy to share a post from Chloe, long time volunteer, and occasional intake worker!


Ever since I started volunteering here, it was obvious that a food hamper that a family receives one day will differ from what a family receives the next day. This is because of the variability of our donations. Even though there are foods we generally give out with every hamper, what specifically is included changes all the time. In this blog I will show a hamper a day for a two person family (near the average family size we serve of 2.4), over two weeks.

For each day I will mention the number of hampers distributed and any extras given out. I separated out “hamper” extras and “window” extras. The hamper extras are given as part of every hamper, but the patrons do not have to take the window extras. These items are put at the window if we have large quantities of them (like ears of corn or trays), or if they are a unique item.

The intent of this post is to show the variability of hampers over the space of a week vs another week, to illustrate the impact unexpected donations may have, and as luck would have it, the struggle involved to fairly distribute an unknown quantity of food to an unknown quantity of people.


To Chard or Not to Chard, Is a Silly Question, Because of Course You Should Chard

September 3, 2015

[Khadija, Summer Special Projects Assistant at House of Friendship’s Emergency Food Hamper Program, wrote the following.]

Summer is winding down for most of us, yet it’s only starting for some veggies, like the bright and beautiful swiss chard that is every day riper and more delicious.  A relative to the beet, this wondrous green gets overshadowed by its popular neighbour, kale,  but it can still hold its own!


Here are a couple reasons why Chard is a nutritional powerhouse:

  1. Excellent source of dietary fiber and iron
  2. Helps to manage diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels in the body
  3. Contains many important nutrients to support general health and wellbeing
  4. Chard’s leaves contain significant amounts of calcium, magnesium and vitamin K, which means that it is a major boost for bone growth and development
  5. As a valuable source of potassium and vitamin K (both of which are found abundantly in the brain and are integral parts of boosting cognitive development and abilities) chard is a definite “brain booster“!

Like all of our food, chard comes to us by donation: from the same community farm, from grocery stores like Loblaws, and from other fertile ground in this Region. We distribute it through the front lobby because not a lot of people are familiar with it. We give away food in the lobby when it’s unusual because we want hampers to contain food that people will use–that they’re familiar with and comfortable preparing.



An uber quick and delicious way to add one of world’s healthiest foods in your diet is with your pasta and even as a zesty side salad. We’ve got tonight’s dinner figured out for you!

You Say Zucchini, I say Courgette, and Darwin Says Cucurbita Pepo

August 20, 2015

[Khadija, Summer Special Projects Assistant at House of Friendship’s Emergency Food Hamper Program, wrote the following.]

Summer – aside from being the season for sticky popsicles and pool parties- is also a time for an abundance of produce at the farmer’s market. Like zucchini! Today I dig up some very worthy praise for this wonderful, and plentiful, vegetable.Zucchini is good for you, for many different sciencey reasons, including:

  1. It is low in cholesterol
  2. Some Vitamins in zucchini help lower blood pressure
  3. Vitamins C and A in Zucchini are key nutrients to maintain health
  4. High levels of magnesium and folate from zucchini reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke
  5. Zucchini also provides you with lutein and zeaxanthin- two phytonutrients which are needed for healthy eyesight!

Zucchinis in the lobby!

Zucchinis come in many shapes and sizes—most of ours come from a community farm in the GTA that grows vegetables for us and other food programs. At this time of year we distribute zucchinis through the window as an option for patrons. Because we often receive them in such massive quantities, we also usually end up sharing zucchinis in the front lobby with anyone who stops by.

So, how can you enjoy this super vegetable?! Zucchini pizza is currently all the rage for those of us on the go. But for those of us with more time on our hands we can now enjoy pizza without the carbs. What excites me even more is that you can combine chocolate and zucchini together to make pretty sweet muffins!