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"A thousand mile journey begins with one step"

It’s our turn to give Bread

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HELP leaders at the Daily Bread Food Bank

Last February, H.E.L.P. (Humanitarian Experiential Leadership Program) and I were at The Good Shepherd and The Scott Mission to experience firsthand what it is like to serve the poor and the needy. Also, we learned the daily struggles of these people and the importance of acting upon empathy and making a difference in our small ways. With that, we have become quite accustomed of the face of poverty.

HELP leaders busy sorting food

Having said all of that, one of the greater challenges of poverty is the instability of food supply. With lacking food supply there is the possibility of going hungry. Of course, I am not talking about the hungry feeling you get after you had not had something to eat for 3 hours, I am talking about real hunger, going without proper nutrition for days. So, on March 24, 2011, our advisor Mr. James Scott Neil took us down to Toronto (191 New Toronto St.) in the Daily Bread Food Bank to immerse ourselves the topic of hunger in a local setting. Sure, we donate food all the time (I sure hope we all do) and we all feel good about that, but being actually there is a different sentiment altogether. It gives a greater sense of appreciation of how privileged we truly are; it makes us realize that we should share our gifts because everyone has the right to live and food is a prerequisite for that.

Once we were there, we were greeted by Melissa Mascarin, the Outreach and Communications Coordinator at the Daily Bread. She gave us insight as to what they do in the food bank and she gave us information and statistics too. After that, she took us to our stations where we worked; there we:

  • Took donated food and goods out of boxes
  • Sorted the food to its respective categories
  • And repack them

Also, she took us to a tour of the warehouse, showing us around, explaining the other great stuff they do there.

Me and Sofia enjoying our work

As volunteers, we were there not because it was part of the program’s curriculum; we were there because we are youth filled with passion and determined to “end hunger in our community”. By generously giving our time, we contribute to the good intents of the Daily Bread Food Bank. After volunteering for three similar organizations now, it still gives me great hope that there are people out there who are striving so hard to improve other people’s lives. To work with such people, it makes me see that absolutely anyone can make a difference. Giving out a couple cans of food means the whole world to the people benefitting from it. Sure, that may not sound a lot, but I really believe it now that it is more than what we credit it for. In reality, that is a lot, think about it. Remember folks, “the ocean was formed from single drops of rain”. It reminds us that we are never alone and together there is nothing we cannot accomplish.

The Daily Bread Food Bank snippets:

The Daily Bread Food Bank “is a non-profit, charitable organization that is

The Daily Bread's slogan: "Fighting to end hunger in our communities"

fighting to end hunger in our communities”. It was founded in early 1983 after numerous people were concerned at the rising levels of poverty and hunger in Toronto. A central organization was formed to solicit and then distribute food. The first Executive Director was Sister Marie Tramblay. She was also a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph. In the fall of that year, incorporation of the Daily Bread Food Bank was made official and it received its first food at Christmas. Today, the Daily Bread Food Bank is the largest food bank in Canada and it operates through neighbourhood food banks in 170 agencies. It operates solely on donations and fundraising. Thousands of volunteers come through the Daily Bread; they keep the salary costs down and are able to provide support through food sorting and administration. Besides providing relief in food, the Daily Bread Food Bank also houses and shelter, provide ‘Food Services Training’ for people facing barriers in labour, conduct research and do public education. People such as you and I are vital to the success of the Daily Bread Food Banks in its mission to alleviate hunger in Toronto.

Check out the rest of pictures of our ventures at the Daily Bread. Also, be sure to watch the vlog.

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Written by Elvin Madamba

April 3, 2011 at 10:20 PM

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