Posts Tagged ‘food distribution’

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…)

Can this be true: are we this wasteful?

February 16, 2011

On January 17 The Record and Guelph Mercury featured an article (here) by Jennifer Bain titled “Canadian Waste Land: Canada is a nation that squanders its food. Nearly half of our food becomes garbage”. The article brought to light a bunch of disturbing facts regarding Canadian food consumption, or lack thereof. After reading this article I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the facts mentioned in this article. My hope is that we all take a few minutes to reflect on our “waste” and hopefully persuade ourselves to change how we use food. (more…)

Intake process: referrals

December 20, 2010

Today I would like to add a few things to Melissa’s blog post (here) about some of the ways people can get additional help from other organizations in the region.

First of all I would like to mention that we are one of the busiest programs in the region and also probably most of Ontario. Last year was the busiest year in the history of House of Friendship, with over 33000 emergency food hampers going to 9959 households. In total over 22000 people shared the food in our hampers.  This year has been busy as well, and so far we have been giving out an average of 134 hampers a day, Monday to Friday.

Each day, these average 130+ families come in and go through our fairly brief intake process.  To recap on Melissa’s post, basically we need to know your name, birth date and address to register you in our database. We want to make sure when a person walks into our program they don’t leave empty handed.  We don’t ask for proof of income, but for statistical reasons we do ask what their source of income is. Trust is a very important part of the process.

Sometimes people are frustrated and since they are going through some rough times, they don’t feel comfortable sharing information about their current life situation and what they are going through. That is why our program made the registering process as straight forward and helpful as possible.  The main way we offer help, other than food that is, is through referrals. (more…)

Hunger Count 2010

November 19, 2010

This  spring I wrote about our work in March and the answers I supplied for the annual Hunger Count survey (read it here).  Well, the national stats have been tabulated and Food Banks Canada have released the official Hunger Count report, as well as a nice video summary.


Where we go from here…

October 5, 2010

In a previous post, I provided information about the hamper audit, and statistics from the 2009 hampers – but how does that translate into our hampers each day and where do we go from here? First here’s a reminder of the 2009 overall averages for each food category and family size:

Grains Dairy Vegetables and Fruit Meat (and alternatives)
One person 5.4 2.3 9.2 5.6
Two people 3.7 2.0 5.8 4.3
Three people 3.8 1.9 6.3 3.1
Four people 3.3 1.8 5.7 2.8
These figures represent the average number of days a hamper in 2009 would last for each family size, based on the upper limit of the number of daily recommended servings for each food group from Canada’s Food Guide values.

Second, we’ll discuss each category in terms of the gaps and challenges we face in reaching our three to five-day goal of food. Then I will give some insight to the ‘tricks of the trade’ in boosting averages when possible and finally, I’ll wrap it all up with some food for thought. (more…)

A Glimpse at 2009 Food Donations

September 21, 2010

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. (more…)

Not your traditional milk – but just as good!

September 14, 2010

Any of the volunteers and staff who have worked at our program over the last two years will likely be able to tell you something about goat’s milk, as it’s been a familiar donation to our program over this period. Because it’s a regular donation for our program, some of our faithful blog readers may also feel familiar with this product since we’ve likely mentioned it in a few earlier blogs. Either way, let’s continue the trend in helping more people become familiar with goat’s milk! (more…)

Chandler-Mowat Community Centre: Unity in Diversity

August 26, 2010

On Thursday August 5, Lianna and I visited the last community centre, Chandler-Mowat, to complete our four-part series along with, Sunnydale of Waterloo, Courtland-Shelley and Kingsdale of Kitchener. When our program supervisor first introduced us to this assignment, he pitched it as “a process to profile four community centres operated by House of Friendship”. Neither one of us had any idea what it meant exactly to profile the community centres. However, by the end of our visit to Chandler-Mowat, the 20-year-old community centre, it is safe to say that all four locations share one thing in common: food is being used as a means to build meaningful relationships and strong communities. (more…)

Stone Soup at Sunnydale

July 23, 2010

In many ways, food distribution here at House of Friendship travels outside of the food hamper box.  Excess food from the hamper program, for example, is taken to HoF’s residential programs and community centres to assist with their programming. Lucas and I were given the task of visiting the Sunnydale Community Centre to observe how they distribute this food and swap some knowledge about KW food insecurity. What we discovered was not simply a table covered in fruits and vegetables, but a bustling, social space where community members can build relationships over the common need for food.