Posts Tagged ‘food for thought’

What Inspires Community Builders like Linda K?

May 20, 2015

Today I’m happy to share a short profile of Linda K, the soft spoken community builder who I first met running the Live and Learn Program.  She is now an integral part of the Sunnydale Community Centre. Thanks to our BSW student Lindsay, who sat down with Linda and had the following to share with us.

Where do you work and what do you do?

“I work at the Sunnydale Community Centre in North Waterloo. It is a wonderfully warm and welcoming community which is home to many individuals and families living on a low income, including many new Canadians from varied cultural backgrounds. I work in partnership with residents and community partners to help identify and provide services and programs that meet community needs.” (more…)

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You Are Only One Google Search Away…

December 25, 2014
There is a global need for help - The House of Friendship of Kitchener sees many international connections

via Flickr

“I was claiming income support as I live in a hostel and am only 17, but they stopped it 3 weeks ago and I have no food left and as it’s so close to Christmas I’m starting to panic, is there any way you can help me please?”

The world is a big place but connected in surprising ways.

We receive many calls (or e-mails) for help, especially during the holiday season. Because of the global reach of the internet, some of those inquiries come from people who do not realize that we are -literally- on the other side of the planet.

The young person I’m quoting above emailed us from Europe.  This year I also received emails from as far away as Australia, and, within Canada, from British Columbia.

Thanks to the power of the internet, I am often able to quickly find a place to refer someone back to in their own community.  A place they no doubt overlooked in their frantic struggle to find food and other help, because, as we know from our work in this community each day, food is often the last of many needs that people struggle to meet.

So as we reflect back on the experience of Christmas Hampers and our year of work, meeting people from our community who had no food, it is sobering to remember that this small part of the world is not alone in its struggle to build a community where all can belong and thrive.

There is still much to do in 2015.

 

Living Inside The Box: Menu Planning For Food Hampers

July 18, 2014
A House of Friendship Food Hamper Staple item - the banana box that we pack hampers in

One of the most common items in our warehouse are the banana boxes that we pack hampers in

Today, I would like to share something written by our two new summer students, who are with us, thanks to a grant from Service Canada.  Their first official day of work, I asked them to do a short exercise and share their thoughts in writing.  In a week or two, they will do the same exercise and they can compare and contrast their experiences.  I hope that in the process you will gain some insight into the difficult choices that our program participants face each day, and the hard decisions we have to make when deciding on how to distribute the many food items we receive as a donation.

Hello Sarah

Hi! My name is Sarah and I am currently studying Biochemistry at the University of Waterloo. For the past three years I have been volunteering with the House of Friendship Emergency Food Hamper Program as a food hamper packer as well as doing a variety of things in the warehouse. However, this summer I will be working as a summer student. With my prior volunteering experience I have regularly handed out food for many individuals; never to contemplate how they will be using and managing the perishable and canned goods they receive.

Hello Jessica

Hi my name is Jessica and I will be one of the Summer Special Project Assistants this year. I have recently graduated from the Social Service Worker Program at Sheridan College and have a passion for helping others. This fall I will be attending the University of Waterloo in the Therapeutic Recreation program. I look forward to my time at the Emergency Food Hamper Program this summer and being able to take part in this important and meaningful agency. (more…)

The ART of Caring

November 12, 2011

On Friday evening local art show & sale, BOX11, hosted a Curator’s Reception.  This year, the Guest Curator is Jim Erb, who also Chairs the Kitchener Conestoga Rotary Club’s annual Turkey Drive in support of House of Friendship’s Christmas Hamper program.  

Like HOF’s year-round Emergency Food Hamper program, Christmas Hampers aims to share the gift of food with families in need, but this program is specifically for December when holiday lay-offs and the pressures and expectations of the season can break an already stretched budget.

The Turkey Drive is the official Charity Partner of BOX11.  A portion of the proceeds from art sales will help bring the gift of food to families across our community.  As the Guest Curator, Jim had the opportunity to share some comments. 

Through my work and community involvement I attend a fair number of events and hear probably far too many speeches, but Jim’s words caught my attention.  In the Rumpel Felt Factory amidst the art, chatter and food, Jim stood in front of us all and  reminded us:

This weekend is also about acknowledging that there are too many people in our community who will probably never be invited to a reception such as this. For many of us, tonight begins the “season of Christmas parties”.  For many others in our community, there will be no invitation to a multitude of Christmas parties.  Over the weekend, the generosity and resources of people like you and me will be able to purchase this beautiful artwork for our homes and offices. For many in our community, the little money they have will not be for art, but for basic food for their family.

Food for thougt no doubt for the coming Holidays.