Food for Thought Blog

Fresh Approaches – Fall 2020

August 18th, 2020Newsletters

Click here to download the FALL 2020 Newsletter

Executive Message

Message from Wendi

Of everything COVID-19 has shown us, nothing has been more vivid to me than seeing people in this community rise to the occasion as things got tough.

Since the pandemic changed our world last March, the support The Food Bank of Waterloo Region has received has been phenomenal. There’s real awareness of the work we’re doing, how we’re connected to our agency partners providing services to the most vulnerable, and how we all have a role to play in fighting food insecurity.

I’m so grateful for the many ways people have responded: with financial donations, food donations, offers to volunteer. We’ve had people drop off homemade face masks and donate profits from face masks they’ve made. We’ve had elderly pensioners give us the gas money they didn’t spend during lockdown. We’ve had a local company loan a truck and a driver, which was an absolute game-changer for us.

The way we work may look different right now, but I’m grateful that with your support, our commitment to the most vulnerable people in our community hasn’t changed.

Thank you.

Wendi Campbell
Chief Executive Officer
The Food Bank of Waterloo Region

"During the darkest days of the crisis, I had donors call to see how we were doing, telling us they were here to help. I can't tell you how grateful I am for that."

Wendi Campbell
Chief Executive Officer

We know it’s not always easy to dig deep when an entire community is in crisis. Even so, during the first 15 weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, you helped us to:

Fighting hunger, feeding families

Pandemic Pivot: What’s New About The Way We Work

Lessons Learned During COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has changed The Food Bank’s delivery model in more ways than one. What we know for sure is that it will continue to morph as we adapt to the changing needs of our community following the crisis.

One of the hardest lessons in the early stages of the pandemic was learning to say no to people who wanted to help. We had to ensure the safety of our staff, agency partners and a very small but mighty core group of volunteers – but that didn’t make the decision to turn volunteers away any easier. For the volunteers who were still able to participate, we’re incredibly grateful. And to the many who wanted to help: we thank you for your patience — and you will definitely hear from us!

With your support, we’re delivering more food than ever before. We don’t know exactly what the food delivery model will look like in the future, but we know food insecurity isn’t a pandemic-specific problem. Hunger can happen to anyone, anywhere, any time.

This fall, we plan to increase the amount of fresh and frozen food in our inventory, which is part of the long-term goal of improving the nutritional value of the food we distribute. And as we move into the winter months, we’ll need to continue to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on the homeless population and shelter system, and what role we’ll play as our partners’ operations shift. There must be a lot of flexibility as we prepare for the unknown.

One of the greatest lessons we’ve learned in the pandemic is that we can adapt because we have an incredible team of supporters like you. Thank you.

"When I was growing up, my Mom was a single Mom raising two kids. There were many times we had to use The Food Bank. Now I can give back to my community to help another family just like mine back in the day."



You Stepped Up When We Needed You Most

“With all the chaos going on, raising money for The Food Bank has given me a sense of control.

“With so many people out of work because of COVID-19, donating was the right thing to do.

“People are struggling right now and we felt it was important to help support organizations that support our neighbours.”

“As a newcomer to Canada, only my husband worked. I got a job six months ago, so I am glad because now I can give back to my community.


Rising Up to Give Back

Grateful to still be employed and safe at home with their two children during the pandemic, Evalena and Cortez are only too happy to give back.

As monthly donors to The Food Bank, Evalena Matlock-Corley and her husband Cortez Corley have witnessed their neighbours and friends rising up in challenging times — and both have spent considerable time expressing gratitude for their own blessings.

“The most important quality we have is our human spirit and our ability to help one another,” Evalena says. “I’m very grateful to live in a society where no matter what’s happening, everyone is going out of their way to really take care of each other. We have to stick together and help where we can.”

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.

"We're thankful that with our own needs met, we can still donate to help others who may not have been as fortunate."

Cortez Corley
Monthly Donor