Without access to sufficient nutrition and housing, people lack the mental, physical and emotional gumption to improve their situations and be the best they can be. Everyone should have the ability to shine their light and live their best life -- but that means needing access to basic necessities first. We operate in one of the poorest rural regions in our province with a mandate to help alleviate poverty through food security programming, practical supports to access emergency shelter for people who are homeless as well as homeless prevention programming (specifically around heating and electricity concerns).
The opening of the Highlands East Food Hub (formerly Wilberforce Food Bank) has significantly increased our capacity to receive larger donations of food as well as perishable food items. This has meant more plentiful amounts of food that we can provide to people accessing our services and also more nutritious foods. We have also been able to share surplus food donations with neighbouring food banks.
Cardiff Food Bank continues to serve the needs of Cardiff-area residents who are food-insecure.
The Community Cooks program provides all local Grade 8 students hands-on experience in the kitchen, including safe food handling and nutritious meal prep lessons.
Heat Bank Haliburton County (added in 2016) is a unique program that works with local households that are struggling with the cost of heat and/or electricity. It provides economic problem-solving and case-coordination supports together with grants and donations of firewood for home heating. This program connects with over 100 households every year, keeping people warm in their own home.
We believe strongly in the importance of people helping people & paying it forward. The act of asking for help can often feel defeating but we remind people of the times that they themselves helped someone else; while it may be their turn to draw from "the bank" now, the tides will turn again one day. Our community is only as strong as we make it and it takes all of us, giving what we have (our time, our talents, our money and/or our compassion) to shift the imbalance of poverty to prosperity.