Food for Thought Blog
Mobile Pantry Helps Neighbours Nourish Neighbours
September 27th, 2021Agencies
Every Wednesday, the Mobile Pantry is on-site at the Stanley Park Community Centre to distribute emergency food hampers to neighbours in need. The Mobile Pantry which launched in 2021, expands the safe distribution, access, and availability of fresh, frozen, and non-perishable food to neighbourhood programs, when and where it is needed most.
In sight of the Mobile Pantry, is a beautiful blooming community garden and the smells of freshly prepared meals linger in the air as volunteers from the Stanley Park Community Association provide food assistance to community members.
This is just one example of emergency food assistance in our community. In Waterloo Region, there are 100+ community programs and agency partners – known as the Community Food Assistance Network – working together to provide access to emergency food and other vital supports.
Working Collaboratively to Meet Community Needs
For the last five months, the Stanley Park Community Association has been cooking up delicious meals for community members in need of food assistance. A team of dedicated volunteers, know as Stanley Park Eats, have been donating their time and talents to sustain the program, even engaging with local chefs to develop nutritious and delicious menu items. Since August 2021, the Mobile Pantry has complimented the meal program at the Community Centre by providing access to emergency food hampers.
The Food Bank of Waterloo Region provides the community centre with fresh, frozen, and non-perishable foods on a weekly basis. The Food Bank also deploys the Mobile Pantry which is equipped with fridges and freezers so that emergency food hampers are kept at a safe temperature and all food safety guidelines are followed.
“The Stanely Park Community Centre has become a place where neighbours have come together to support neighbours,” said Cindy Hanby, Community Centre Facilitator.
What started as a conversation and a shared vision to provide emergency food assistance has evolved into a community led initiative supported and made possible by the generous contributions of community members and The Food Bank.
When Access to Food Assistance is Local
The Stanley Park Community Centre and other neighbourhood food assistance programs offer a familiar and comfortable location for community members to access services. Without having to leave their neighbourhood, community members in need of food assistance, know that local supports are available and referrals to additional vital supports are possible.
The neighbourhood hamper program at the Stanley Park Community Centre is open on Wednesdays from 11am to Noon. Meals are served between 11am to Noon on Wednesdays and again from 4pm to 5pm. To learn more about this neighbourhood program call 519.741.2504.