Food for Thought Blog

Fresh Approaches – Winter 2020

February 10th, 2020Newsletters

Click here to download the Winter 2020 Newsletter

Executive Message

Message from Wendi

It’s becoming more difficult for individuals and families in our community to access healthy, affordable food.

Waterloo Region is home to some of the most expensive housing in Canada.  Steadily climbing prices for accommodations and food are forcing families to make difficult decisions.  Pay the rent or feed the children?  Keep the heat on or fill the fridge?

Last year, 25% of households accessing food assistance sought help for the first time.  More than a third (35%) of individuals needing food assistance were children.

You could provide a crucial safety net for neighbours in need.

Thanks to your generosity, 35,552 people received food assistance from 100+ community programs and agency partners last year.

More than 80,000 emergency food hampers were provided to people in need, and critical supports were offered to familieis and individuals experiencing food insecurity.

Thank you for feeding hungry neighbours.

Wendi Campbell
Chief Executive Officer
The Food Bank of Waterloo Region

Thank you for sharing the holiday spirit!  Hunger is hard at any time of the year, but it can be especially difficult during the festive season.  By sharing the holiday spirit:

Saving Fresh.  Feeding Community.

Your support helps find solutions for food waste.

In Canada, food waste has reached record-breaking numbers.  It is estimated that nearly 32% of food wasted is edible and could have been redirected to feed the hungry.  At The Food Bank of Waterloo Region, food recovery is our top priority.  That’s why, backed by your support, we have created Saving Fresh. Feeding Community. – a food recovery program that prevents fresh, edible food from being thrown away.

Using our fleet of refrigerated vehicles, we gather would be discarded fresh food donations from restaurants, local farmers and food industry partners and distribute the food among our 100+ community programs and agency partners throughout Waterloo Region.

Thank you for helping us significantly reduce food waste in our community and allow us to share a new source of fresh, nutritious food with local families and individuals in need of food assistance.

Full Bellies.  Happy hearts.

Thank You for Helping Us Raise One Million Meals!

The goal was ambitious: raise 500,000 meals during the summer months – a time that typically sees a drastic drop in food donations, though the need for food assistance remains steady. And wow, did you step up to the plate! Thanks to you, we achieved DOUBLE our goal, raising one million meals to feed hungry neighbours! We are so grateful for your tremendous support as well as that of our matching donor, Allan Bush of CIBC Wood Gundy, Waterloo, who doubled the impact of donations made during the campaign.

Thank you for making our Full Bellies. Happy Hearts. campaign such an overwhelming success!

Keeping it Fresh

Healthy Hampers, Thanks to You.

Thanks to your support, Healthy Hampers are bringing nutritious food to people throughout Waterloo Region. Each Healthy Hamper provides households with 3-4 days worth of nourishing food (3 meals + snacks daily), incorporating all food categories recommended by Canada’s Food Guide.

Healthy Hampers aim to provide food options that reflect a variety of diets including vegetarian, vegan and halal. Personal hygiene and other non-food items such as laundry products, toilet paper, feminine hygiene, and baby products are also provided to those in need.

Thank you for making Healthy Hampers possible!

Why I Give

Gillian Reese believes no one should go Hungry.

Gillian Rees, Chief Strategy Officer at Rees & Stager, considers it a blessing to be able to support The Food Bank. “We give both as a family and as an organization because we live in a country, a province and a region that is blessed with abundance,” explains Gillian. “There is just no reason why any person in our community should be hungry or worried about how they are going to feed themselves or their kids.”

“Day to day expenses add up really quickly,” says Gillian. “If people need a little help once in a while, I’m thrilled to be part of an organization that offers healthy,Graphic - Food Bag nourishing food.”

Gillian hopes many more supporters will join The Food Bank’s Monthly Donor Community. “I encourage everyone to give monthly and enjoy all those warm fuzzy feelings you get when you know you are making a difference each month,” she says.

To join our Monthly Donor Community and help feed neighbours year-round, call us at 519.743.5576 ext. 227 or visit to sign up.

"People at The Food Bank take such good care and stewardship of the money we donate and I really appreciate that."

Gillian Reese

Your Gifts in Action

2019 HungerCount

Each year, The Food Bank participates in a national survey to help understand food insecurity in communities across Canada. The 2019 HungerCount Report, administered by Food Banks Canada, revealed the number of single people needing food assistance has doubled in just five years.

Last year in Waterloo Region:

  • 49% of individuals receiving food assistance were single, followed by single-parent families (19%), two-parent families (18%), couples with no children (7%) and other (7%).
  • 25% of households (3,659) accessed food assistance for the very first time.
  • 34,552 people accessed food assistance.