2012 was a good year for the Stittsville Food Bank. We have all learnt from each other, our clients, donors and volunteers that anything is possible if you work at it in a positive way.
I will start off the Year End Report for 2012 by saying thank you.
The Board of Directors also would like to thank the close to 60 volunteers who are the backbone of the Stittsville Food Bank. They are all a very passionate and strong group of individuals. The Stittsville Food Bank is the size of a small grocery store and labour involved to run the operation matches that of a small grocery store, which makes it incredible that with the help of these volunteers we are able to maintain a well-oiled operation. A huge thank you goes out to all the volunteers who make the Stittsville Food Bank a great success.
The Board of Directors discussed showing their appreciation to all volunteers and donors and will set up a committee to discuss what could be done.
Once again the number of families served, increased. There was an average of 65 families per month in 2012, up from 2011’s average of 55 families.
The physical layout of the Food Bank was reorganized to make room for a new furnace; however we were able to keep all our shelves.
Clients have now been going around the shelving area with a volunteer on a one on one basis. The clients have their grocery bags and can pick and choose from the items on the shelves. The quantity of food items given out are based on the size of each client’s family as well as the amount of each and every product available on the shelves. This has proven to be a very positive way in serving clients as they are able to get products they like and will use. This also allows the volunteer to serve her client in a private way.
The change from Monday night pick up to Tuesday night has worked out better for the clients, volunteers and board members as we are not always changing pick-up dates due to statutory holidays Our program that is to provide assistance to students from the Frederick Banting Alternate High School in Stittsville is still being provided once a week.
Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas clients are provided with hampers of seasonal food items. The Christmas Hamper is a very complete hamper of food items, including the client’s choice of a turkey or ham, and gifts for all children 18 and younger. The volunteer coordinator who coordinates the Christmas hampers works closely with the Client Service Director and Inventory Director to ensure plenty of food is available for hampers. Shelley Brown volunteered to look after Christmas Hampers this year. She worked very closely with the “Christmas Angels” to ensure all requests were met. The Shelley Brown also assembles a special team of volunteers to organize, purchase, sort, and pack these Christmas Hampers. They obviously start several weeks before the handout date.
The Food Inventory
SFB now has a perishable delivery once a week, due to the on-going generosity of this community. Cash donations have allowed us to purchase additional perishable items, such as milk, cheese, eggs, various fresh fruits & vegetables, ground beef, and a selection of frozen meals. This permits the SFB to provide enhanced nutrition and variety. We also benefited from the Horticultural Society growing fresh vegetables in the back of the Stittsville Food Bank. Thanks to their hard work, we were able to provide extra vegetables on a weekly basis, such as tomatoes, and cucumber. A big thank you to the Horticultural Society for their 2012 help in the garden. Also on hand (on an interim basis) is a selection of personal hygiene items – a special bonus for many of the clients. The cash donations received have also funded the purchase of new appliances for the safe storage of the perishable food items.
Non-perishable donations from food bins at Brown’s Independent Grocers, Giant Tiger, the Goulbourn Recreation Centre (compliments of the local municipal Councillor), Sobeys Grocery Store, the new Food Basics and also the new Wal-Mart, continue to augment stock. On a weekly basis, a dedicated group of people pick up, sort, date-check and shelve this material. SFB now has a Church Lady- Paula Farrell that looks after all food donations’ provided by the churches in Stittsville. We at the SFB are so thrilled to have “sponsors” for specific food item and shelves The Food Drive team continues to work hard to ensure food drives from generous donors are shelved by sorting and checking best-before dates. Inventory at the Stittsville Food Bank was low in the summer of 2012 as was the rest of the City of Ottawa. We were fortunate enough to have the funds to purchase regular food items for our clients.
We thank and congratulate the Stittsville News, for their willingness to promote and advise the community about Food Bank needs and upcoming food drives.
The Stittsville Food Bank is so fortunate to have the incredible generosity of the community of Stittsville. The Stittsville Food Bank does not receive any type of funding assistance, but relies 100% on donations from the public. Without this assistance it would cease to function. Again in 2012, food and cash donations ensured the continuation of support to those families in need. The financial status is healthy, and shelves are well stocked, again thanks to the generosity of so many businesses, organizations, service clubs and individuals.
Chair, Stittsville Food Bank