Food for Thought Blog

My Experience Delivering Food Donations

July 20th, 2018Stories

The Food Bank of Waterloo Region is an organization I have always supported in some capacity, whether it is sorting food or putting a bag of non-perishables in the bin at the grocery store, it is important to me that everyone has access to healthy, nutritious and safe food.

So when I joined the team at The Food Bank a little over three months ago, I was thrilled to be with an organization where I would be able to have a real and meaningful impact on the community I was born and raised.

I just didn’t realize how big of an impact the role would have on me.

For those who may not know, The Food Bank of Waterloo Region is dedicated to meeting the needs of the community and ensuring no one goes hungry. Through community partnerships, we acquire, store and distribute fresh, frozen and non-perishable food to more than 100 community agencies and food programs locally, which serve approximately 32,640 people each year.

We work with people from all walks of life, each needing food support for a number of different reasons.

Having spent most of my life in Kitchener-Waterloo, I always thought I had a realistic outlook on the area. I know the tech sector is booming, new buildings are being developed and existing buildings, renovated. But what I didn’t know – and what I think a lot of people don’t know – is just how many people in our community are struggling.

I recently had the chance to join my co-worker on his daily delivery route to distribute food orders to four of our agency partners. And the experience impacted me much more than I ever could have imagined.

I wasn’t prepared for the mix of emotions I felt. It is one thing to hear someone say they need food but it is something entirely different to see the need. It was overwhelming to watch a crowd of people gather around the back of the truck, waiting as the door rolled up, to see the food donations that will be part of their next meal.

The reality is, poverty exists in our community, and not everyone is able to put food on the table. In fact, many are forced to make difficult decisions between keeping a roof over their head and buying groceries.

Think about that choice for a second.

Food or a place to live.

Food or pay your bills.

No one should be forced to make choices like this. Yet, every day, people have to.

I only saw a small glimpse into a much bigger need. In Waterloo Region, 1 in 20 households receive food assistance. The Food Bank provides food support to those in need, but there is a lot more work to be done to ensure no one has to make the choice between food and other life necessities.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can get involved with The Food Bank of Waterloo Region, click here.

Jennifer J