Charity Spotlight: This blog post was provided by Abby Crosby from Feed Nova Scotia as part of our ongoing charity spotlight series.
If there’s an opportunity to give back, Kassinda won’t hesitate to grab it.
“When I really needed the support, the community was there,” says Kassinda.
At 18 years old, Kassinda was a single mom on social assistance, working toward a college degree. After paying rent, utilities, and transportation costs, her budget didn’t stretch far enough for groceries. The helplessness of looking into bare cupboards, knowing there was nothing to feed her daughter, pushed her to reach out for help.
Kassinda remembers the nerves and apprehension she felt, opening those doors to the food bank the first time. She never imagined being in that position, but volunteers quickly put her fears at ease, making sure she had the support she needed.
Knowing there would be food on the table, she could finally stop worrying. She now had reliable support for her daughter to thrive, and she could focus on finishing school and moving her life forward.
Breaking the Stereotype
With food no longer a constant worry, Kassinda could clearly see her path to graduation, and a strong internal drive to break the stigma of being a single mom and using a food bank kept her going.
“I didn’t want to be classified with the stereotype that’s out there that if you’re a single mother, you’re going to stay on welfare and you’re not going to finish school or have a career.”
She pushed hard and wrote a different life story for herself. She graduated college, got a fulltime job, and will never forget the incredible sense of empowerment that came when she started covering expenses on her own.
So Much More than Food
Far too many Canadians struggle with food insecurity, and, like Kassinda, reaching out to a food bank is often a last resort. But the support provided isn’t a hand out, it’s a hand up. When people bravely make that first step to ask for help, they’re met with the kindness and compassion of volunteers who not only help them meet a very basic need, but also go the extra mile. Food banks in your community and across the country provide clothing, counseling, parent support, budgeting help, and cooking programs—and food.
At Feed Nova Scotia, we’re proud to support these incredible efforts. Our mission is to increase food security through food distribution, education, and collaboration with other organizations . We ship almost 2 million kilograms of donated food to 145 food banks, shelters, and meal programs across our province. We all work together to ensure everyone has food in their time of need, and we raise awareness of the challenges faced by people from all walks of life and push for changes to social policy.
Moving Forward and Giving Back
Today, Kassinda volunteers with us, she organizes food drives and spearheads the holiday support programs at her job. She’s a board member at a women’s shelter. She serves hot meals with her children at a soup kitchen. Her drive to lend a hand is strong because she knows the difference it makes when it’s extended toward you. We meet so many people like Kassinda who give because they once struggled. The kindness and compassion they received from a food bank sticks with them, and when the opportunity comes, they’re driven to pay it forward.
It’s a meaningful exchange that grounds us in our work, and it’s something we’re so thankful for all year long.