Posts Tagged ‘new experiences’

BSW Guest Blog: Who do the food hampers help?

November 3, 2011

One day last week, late afternoon, a young girl and her daughter came in for a food hamper for herself and her family of three. Obviously uncomfortable, shifting her weight from foot to foot, constantly looking down, and speaking in whispers so others would not hear her. She was clearly upset with having to ask a stranger for food.

While the intake worker sensitively guided her through intake, I observed some striking similarities between my own circumstances in life and this humble young woman who was at her wits end.  She was the same age as my wife and her husband was the same age as me. She was short and had long, straight, black hair, similar to my wife. I couldn’t help but imagine what it would feel like if I was on the other side of the counter asking a stranger for food. A myriad of question flew through my head and continued long after I left for the day. Would I be able to bring myself to ask for the food? Why would I be unable to provide for my family? Could I handle having to ask for food on multiple occasions?

Hello, my name is Mike,  and I am a student at Renison University College at the University of Waterloo working towards a BSW degree. For the last five weeks, I have been helping out at House of Friendship’s Emergency Food Hamper Program (EFHP). Between attending classes at a new university and getting used to a new city, I have been very lucky to work with House of Friendship for my school practicum. At the Food Hamper Program, I have experienced a number of startling realities that most people do not see on a daily basis. Realities which many live with each day, and that revolve around food insecurity issues. Before explaining one of these experiences, a little background information about me is in order. (more…)