Food for Thought Blog
Woolwich Community Services Offers Helping Hand to Thousands
July 10th, 2019Agencies
Driving through the countryside, it can be difficult to imagine that people living on green fields, land and farms may be struggling to put food on the table. But the reality is hunger can impact anyone, anywhere, at any time.
The need for food assistance and access to vital supports doesn’t stop at the city limits.
Since 1974, Woolwich Community Services has been a helping hand, supportive friend and the community service provider to thousands of Woolwich and Northern Wellesley Township residents. Centrally located in Elmira, they offer a variety of services, supports and resources ranging from Family Violence Support, Low German Family Support, a Youth Centre and a Food Hamper Program.
Working Together to Better Serve the Community
The Food Bank of Waterloo Region and Woolwich Community Services began working together nearly 20 years ago as part of the Community Food Assistance Network – a system of 100+ community programs and agency partners working together to provide food and connection to other vital supports needed by people in Waterloo Region.
Over the years, The Food Bank has provided more than 60,000 pounds of non-perishable, frozen and fresh food to their Food Hamper and Lunch Crunch programs.
The Food Hamper program runs Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is available to participants on a monthly basis. The program provides a hamper that suits the specific and unique needs and size of the family. Participants are able to shop and choose the items the entire family will enjoy, including a selection of fresh, frozen and non-perishable items.
The Food Hamper program continues to grow and now serves 65 households, about 145 people each month.
The Lunch Crunch Program runs during the school year and is a program that has experienced significant growth, now serving 85 kids each week. The program is available for school-aged children every Monday between 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. and families are able to stop in and shop from a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as non-perishable items.
The Food Bank also plays an important role in raising awareness about the need for food assistance throughout Waterloo Region.
“The partnership with The Food Bank is a two-way street,” says Kelly Christie, Executive Director at Woolwich Community Services. “In addition to providing us with large quantities of food, they also help us with storage if we need it and if we receive a large donation, we will share it with The Food Bank.”
Woolwich Community Services also receives support from corporate and community partners, including Home Hardware head office, which delivers produce from their employee initiated garden.
“Because of so many partnerships and collaboration, we can really get things done,” says Kelly. “We have an incredible support system in this community.”
Evolving to Meet Community and Participant Needs
Woolwich Community Services is an organization that is flexible and adaptable. They grow and change to meet the needs of their client base. “We listen, hear and implement,” says Lisa Martin, Woolwich Community Services Office and Food Bank Coordinator. “We are here to not only listen and support participants but also to help them achieve their goals. If there is a need for a program, we will start it.”