Posts Tagged ‘Donor appreciation’

The anonymous knitting Grandma strikes again!

February 28, 2013

Back in September, a woman came in to the food hamper program and saw a big bag of yarn that we had behind the desk. Her eyes lit up, and she quickly asked if she could bring it to her grandmother, who loved to knit. We said sure, and she went on her way.

mittens pic

A few weeks later the woman came back with mittens and hats her grandmother had knit with the yarn. Her grandmother had wanted the yarn so she could knit winter items to donate back to us. According to her granddaughter, this woman knits with any yarn available and donates what she makes to charitable organizations, who can give the items to families in need.

sweater pic

A few months after her first donation, anonymous knitting Grandma is going strong! We’ve probably received over 100 items from her, mostly in the form of hats and mittens, but also the occasional sweater and scarf. It means a lot to us and the people who come in that she puts so much time and love into her products. Parents of small children especially get excited when they find her stuff on our shelves.

Thank you, grandma, for taking the time to keep kids in Waterloo Region warm, and to all our food and clothing donors!

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The question box: how do we get the food we give out?

September 18, 2012

This is number two in a blog series around the question box we put up at the food hamper program. A few months ago, we put up a question box in our lobby so people could ask questions about the program that they were maybe hesitant to come up and ask the staff. Last time, we answered the question “why do you give out expired food?” Today I’ll be answering another question: “how do you get this much food?”

The question box in our lobby

The answer is simple: we are able to distribute as much food as we do because of the generous donations we receive from businesses and organizations in and outside Waterloo Region. We are also fortunate to have space and equipment to unload and store food safely. (more…)

Expect the unexpected

March 30, 2012

photo via flickr

Each day, week, month and year we are here at the Emergency Food Hamper Program something new and different happens.  It could be an unexpected donation, a new and interesting volunteer, or a new story and difficult decision to make.

So far 2012 has proven to be a challenging year for us.  Our weekly plan for how we will distribute food have required more forethought, planning and second guessing than usual.  Why is that?  There are a few reasons. (more…)

Bikes for tykes

July 14, 2011

The House of Friendship can only exist with the support and assistance of a multitude of volunteers.  If you are a regular reader of our blog, you have met many of them so far, but today I wanted to introduce someone who volunteers in a different way.  His name is Gerald.

A few years ago Gerald called me up and pitched an idea to distribute refurbished children’s bikes at the Emergency Food Hamper Program.  Gerald has a bike shop at 725 King Street North in Waterloo and is a strong believer in everyone doing a little bit to make the world a better place. (more…)

Family sticks together – the rising cost of food and the family farm

June 3, 2011

As Melissa blogged about earlier, the rising cost of food is getting a lot of play in the media and is weekly on the minds of everyone who does any grocery shopping – especially if you’re on a limited or fixed income.

Higher or lower, the cost of food is a struggle for many on both sides of the producer/consumer coin.  The people who grow it, ship it, store it, sell it and buy it all have an interest in how much food costs and what is good for one, may not be good for all.

We have shared our perspective already, with some words from John our executive director, as well as Tony, our Community Services Director.  Today we are going to share a few words from Trevor Herrle, a local farmer and businessman, who’s family has helped our organization tremendously.

You can learn more about the Herrle’s and their country farm market here, as well as read some blog posts by Trevor on the excellent Food Link blog here.  He is also an active tweeter (follow @HerrlesMarket) and provides some really interesting views into what it’s like to be a farmer. (more…)

You can help NOURISH people in need!

March 30, 2011

Have you seen this product in the news lately? Campbell’s has been making headlines with some new ideas in eating and charitable giving. If you haven’t heard about the new soup I encourage you to nourish your mind by clicking here.  It’s worth the click.  We can wait.

One reason this soup has yet to come to grocery stores is because Campbell’s has focused production of the first 100 000 cans to donate to Food Banks Canada. Then following this generosity Campbell’s is planning to follow-up with a donation towards disaster relief efforts in Haiti.

But why is this new soup such a big deal? Well not only does their pop-top designs make it easy for anyone (in any place) to open the can, but it’s nutritious! Each 425 gram can provides a complete meal with a full serving of protein, vegetables, and grains, based on recommendations by Canada’s Food Guide,. Two other benefits of this soup are that it can be eaten hot or cold, and doesn’t require any addition of water before enjoying.  This is a major plus if you’re on the street, just had your hydro shut off or living in a disaster area with no fresh water.

Could it get any better?  Yes! Although Campbell’s has already committed to donating 100 000 cans to Food Banks Canada, they are willing to do more. However Campbell’s is looking for your support to do that! There are two ways you can show your support to accomplish this:

  • Visit their Facebook page. On there if you post a comment; like the page or video posted; watch the 2 minute video; or share the video on your own facebook page then Campbell’s will reciprocate by donating one can to Food Banks Canada.
  • Post a comment on Twitter (hashtag #Nourish) for Campbell’s to donate a can.

Campbell’s is hoping the community responds so they can donate another 100 000 cans before Hunger Awareness Day on May 31, 2011. We’re hoping that you can take a few minutes to help them reach this goal. Soup is shelf-stable food item that many food banks rely on to distribute in their food hampers. Although it’s not on the Food Bank’s top ten most needed food items, it’s still an important item to continually donate.

Have you taken a second to click and share a can of soup with a neighbour in need?

Rotten egg award

March 25, 2011

In the last part of our three part series, today, I will talk about April, the ignoble winner of the (now) infamous Rotten Egg Award for 2010.

Unfortunately April is a bad time for our food hampers to fall below the overall averages because April is a tricky time of the year for many patrons. At this time many patrons are trying to catch up on debts that they have accumulated over the holidays or during periods of seasonal unemployment before their EI claims were processed. For others the fact that outdoor seasonal employment, such as landscaping or construction, aren’t in full swing yet hits hard because their part-time hours aren’t sufficient to pay all the bills. Also student (summer) placement jobs don’t generally begin until late June, despite the fact that many students are done their university semesters and their OSAP before this. Plus at some point in the month many families and individuals will be looking forward to the idea of eating a big meal and sharing gifts with young children, as a part of celebrating Easter with their families but lack the funds and ability to do so. Clearly there are many different reasons why this is a bad time for food assistance programs to be running short on supplies. But with 2 581 households in need of assistance, how bad were things? (more…)

Golden Egg Award

March 24, 2011

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! (more…)

It’s Time to Celebrate!

March 10, 2011

It seemed like we were just wrapping up Christmas Hampers when the Potato Blitz hit. Now, it too is over. Friday, February 25, we hosted the Community Potato Lunch at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and officially wrapped up a month of potato frenzy. This event, like all the events in this year’s Blitz, was a roaring success! You helped us raise another $3,100 so that we can purchase another 20,000 lbs of potatoes. This brings our grand total to 183,000 lbs of potatoes, which is 13,000 lbs above the campaign goal! (more…)

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure

February 17, 2011

There is an old saying that one mans trash is another’s treasure.

If you talk to someone who lived through the great depression and the war that followed it in the 1930’s and 1940’s they might think nothing of carefully folding the wrapping paper from their birthday gift and saving it. They might cut off the bruises from an apple and approach canning and preserving in times of plenty as a sacred duty, on par with voting.

Talk to a younger person, in their 20’s and they may think nothing of throwing out a bruised or slightly over ripe piece of fruit. For them canning is something they don’t have time for.  And, depending on how and where they grew up, they may shudder at the thought of buying second hand clothes or picking through the trash at the end of someone’s driveway to grab some furniture, or an appliance that maybe needs a little bit of know how to get it working again.

Melissa posted yesterday about some recent work highlighting the wastefulness of society in general when it comes to food.  But, there is a flip side.  Waste is an important source of food for us. A lot of what the food industry and retailers determine is waste is a gold mine that helps feed the people who turn to us each day. (more…)