Food for Thought Blog

Hunger Relief for the Holidays and Year-Round

December 21st, 2023Agencies, Awareness, In the Community

As the year draws to a close and winter weather takes hold, the challenges of affording essential food become increasingly pressing for individuals and families in our community. That’s why service providers dedicated to offering shelter and respite to unsheltered neighbours work with The Food Bank of Waterloo Region to expand food orders and increase their capacity.  

Laura Hamilton, a member of A Better Tent City’s Board of Directors, expresses gratitude for The Food Bank’s support during recent changes, underscoring the profound impact of collective efforts.  

Laura explains, “We recently introduced some big changes onsite that impacted the timing and nature of the food we are preparing and sharing… it’s clear that you all care so very much. Once again, thank you all.”  

Seasonal meal programs also pop up to provide a warm and welcoming space for a nourishing meal to be enjoyed. St. Matthews Lutheran Church and First United Church play pivotal roles, offering weekly meals from November to April. Doug McKlusky, a volunteer at St. Matthews Lutheran Church emphasizes the indispensable role of The Food Bank enabling their outreach.  

Doug says, “Without The Food Bank, we couldn’t do any of this.”  

To relieve hunger throughout the year, The Food Bank of Waterloo Region is actively sourcing fresh, frozen, and non-perishable food for distribution to the 120+ community programs and agency partners that make up the Community Food Assistance Network 

The Food Bank of Waterloo Region and Cambridge Food Bank are at the centre of this Network, centralizing food collection and distribution for various service providers.  

Waterloo Region Christmas Support Network 

Winter, with its heightened heating expenses and the added burden of affording warm clothing, poses a unique challenge for those on tight budgets, often leading to hunger over the holiday season.  

The Food Bank proudly supports the Waterloo Region Christmas Support Network, a local effort that provides extra support to individuals and families in need in the form of holiday food hampers and toys for children. A collaborative effort involving numerous organizations, the Waterloo Region Christmas Support Network has provided support to a record-breaking 10,000 households. The House of Friendship notes that their holiday food program “depends on support from key community partners, including The Food Bank of Waterloo Region, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and Catalyst Commons.” 

It is through collaboration that The Food Bank is working with partners to impact the lives of people struggling to afford the food they need. There is no typical food bank recipient and there are many reasons a person may access emergency food assistance such as sudden job loss, low income, and the cost of winter necessities. That’s why The Food Bank focuses on relieving hunger over the holidays and every day of the year.