Posts Tagged ‘how’

How?

September 20, 2011

One of the big questions we get is “how do I get a hamper?”

It’s a good question.  If you go to a hundred food programs across the country, you will likely have a hundred different experiences.  Each  place is different; there is no standard, but there are similarities.

A while ago, we managed to get our hands on a nice camera, and the staff here were kind enough to take on starring roles in our own re-enactment of getting up the courage to walk through our door, talk to a staff person and get a hamper.  Thanks to Nadir for the camera work, Melissa and Michelle for their acting skills and our volunteers for providing some background.

Take the example of Andrew, who Melissa blogged about last week.  This is likely pretty close to what he would have experienced when visiting our program.  On average we serve about 140 families and individuals each day we are open. Without the hard work of our volunteers and donors we couldn’t do it.

So, we’re obviously not going to win any Oscars, but we hope this video answers some of your questions.

Here are a few things to consider:

The lobby can often be very busy.  How would you feel having this conversation in front of a room of strangers?

Our hampers vary, sometimes a lot.  Is that box of food something you would want to share with your family? What foods do you wish we had that aren’t there?

In the video it’s winter.  How would you get to us if you didn’t have a car or bus fare?  We are here.  What if you lived here?  Kind of a long walk isn’t it?  I hope you have warm boots. Even in summer it’s not a treat.  When it’s really hot out, sometimes it’s worse.  Sunstroke, frostbite or hunger. It’s not an easy choice.

Stay tuned for some more stories from people who have used our program. As you read them, keep this video in the back of your mind.  Each one of them will have gone through this process, sometimes many times, over many years.

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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…)