Food for Thought Blog

Urgent Response and Recovery: Feeding Neighbours During an Ongoing Crisis

February 7th, 2021Awareness, COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our community in so many ways. The added and ongoing stress of unexpected job loss, limited budgets, and illness means many of us are struggling to put food on the table.

It was nearly a year ago, we found ourselves beginning to navigate a global pandemic. We worked quickly to adjust and adapt our operations to ensure the ongoing distribution of emergency food and other essential services. In fact, in the first 15 weeks of COVID-19 – March 16 to June 26, 2020 – we saw and managed a 40% increase in food distribution compared to the same time the year before.

Looking Ahead to Future Recovery

Fast forward to today: we are continuing to navigate the pandemic, and are working diligently to ensure no one goes hungry in Waterloo Region, but we are also focused on the future recovery.

During the last 11 months, as the team has been busy shifting, adapting and adjusting operations, we have been developing an in-depth emergency food procurement plan, that will ensure we are able to provide emergency food assistance and support during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the start of this global health crisis, we have acquired, coordinated, and distributed 3,461,588 pounds of food, pre-packed 75,036 fresh, frozen, and non-perishable hampers, made 2,926 deliveries and supported thousands of people throughout Waterloo Region. An incredible impact that YOU made possible!

As always, collaboration has been key. We continue to work closely with corporate and community partners, such as Linamar, Bingemans, and Erb Transport – just to name a few – to acquire, coordinate, and distribute more than 3,461,588 pounds of fresh, frozen, and non-perishable food to community programs and agency partners.

Despite the changes in our operation, one thing has been constant. You, our generous donors, have shown incredible and steady support during COVID-19. You’ve gone above and beyond financial and food support through donations of hand sanitizer, homemade masks, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) that has been shared with our community programs and agency partners.

As we look beyond COVID-19, we will be updating our food engagement program and introducing new ways to safely welcome you back to our facilities.