The Food Bank of Waterloo Region
When I helped organize my first food drive in high school I had no idea I would land at The Food Bank of Waterloo Region and work with local, provincial and national partners to feed our communities and advocate for change.
At the time there was no formalized Food Bank structure in my small town but we knew there was a need – that we had friends and neighbours who were struggling during the holiday season. Our student organization thought this was an amazing initiative. I’m sure it was appreciated but what we didn’t consider, is that people have been doing things to support the less fortunate in our communities for hundreds of years – church dinners, food baskets delivered by neighbours, poor houses to curtail rioting, short term government solutions to help some while many more struggled.
The eighties put a name on this work and mobilized communities in a different way. Food banks popped up across the country and continued this charitable work while transforming the conversation about hunger.
Fast forward 30 years – food banks have changed with the changing needs in our communities. The conversation and delivery methods have changed. We have evolved with the altered food landscape – we provide fresh and frozen nutritious foods, recipes and opportunities to learn new skills. We create connections and programs to improve lives – beyond a meal. With all of the changes in our world, the meal remains an essential first step to increase the health and well-being of our neighbours.
We’ve elevated the conversation – from food bank representatives camped out in doorways at Queen’s Park – to a growing national conversation that guides election platforms and policy reform. The discussions continue, the problem is not solved but we are forever a different society because of the efforts of food bank staff, volunteers, community leaders and those kids who just wanted to hold a food drive to help their neighbours.
Thank you for your support in the progress we have made and the work we will continue to do.
Through community partnerships, we obtain and distribute emergency food from our neighbours for our neighbours.
To channel our community’s energy so no one goes hungry.