Posts Tagged ‘solidarity’

Charity, Solidarity, and the Holiday Season, part two

February 5, 2015

Today’s post is the second in a three part series about the complicated relationships between charitable giving and the work of charitable organizations, especially during the holiday season. 

Our guest blogger Luke discusses below his own frustrating experiences of being caught in the middle of charitable giving without relationship, and other ways in which charitable work makes real solidarity difficult to realize.

The holiday season is now behind us. This is too bad, because for many of us November and December are the months when we donate to those in need, when we seem especially aware of injustice, pain, and suffering in our communities. It’s also an occasion to reflect on the relationships between giving, justice, and the ways we contribute—or don’t—to unequal societies.

I was fortunate enough to work as a truck driver for an organization that supports street-involved youth in one of Canada’s biggest cities. My job at this time of year was busy, but extremely rewarding. Food, clothing, toys and furniture were donated en masse. Our organization, and, more importantly, the street-youth we supported, depended on the generosity of the community–the Christmas rush. And, every so often, the “Christmas rush” created opportunities for interactions between rich and poor.

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KW Food Budget Challenge

September 23, 2010

I was asked to speak today about local food programs at the kick off of the KW Food Budget Challenge.  You can find a link to their site and associated blogs here.

You may remember and older post (here) about The Stop and their Do the Math challenge. The KW Food Budget Challenge takes its inspiration from this ground breaking effort to draw attention to the plight of food insecure individuals and families.

Instead of relying on a food hamper and meal programs like the participants of the Do the Math challenge, they are living on a limited budget, like that of a person on Ontario Works, and documenting the ensuring struggle to get food and survive for a week on their blogs and other media.  This struggle will include going to meal programs and even getting food hampers (after making a donation to offset the impact to the program).  The final wrap up will be at the Dream Centre.

The participants include some new faces, and some long time supporters of our work. The participants (so far) are  Chatar Ahuja, Brice Balmer, Bill Bean, Mike Farwell, Greg deGroot Maggetti, Sheryl Loeffler, Ashley Schuitemal, Bruce Sweet, Peter Thurley, and Felicia Urbanski. Click on their names to go to their new, and as of now, mostly empty blogs.  In the next week expect a lot of first person reflections on what thousands of people in this region struggle with each week of the year.

Here at the Food Hamper Program, we applaud these people for walking, even for a short while, in solidarity with the countless people who walk through our doors trying to make ends meet.

I’m looking forward to reading about their experiences and hoping that it will get people thinking and talking about why, after almost 30 years of having food banks all across this country, even more people are hungry each day.