Nourishing News for the Holidays
Every few months, we have the opportunity to share what’s happening at The Mississauga Food Bank in a newsletter that is sent to supporters all over our community.
This season’s newsletter features:
- a special message from Executive Director Chris Hatch
- the story of Jen, a local mom who found hope for her young family through the food bank
- details about our Holiday Hope Boxes and how you can join the Holiday Food and Fundraising Drive!
Please take a few moments to read the full newsletter here.
We also want to say a special thank you to our #HolidayDrive sponsors for their generous support:
What is a Holiday Hope Box?
For many in our community, the holiday season brings the anticipation of bountiful meals shared with friends, family and loved ones. But for others, this simply is not a reality. While the number of our hungry neighbours does not increase during the holiday season, it feels even more painful to be hungry during this festive time.
Now you’re probably asking yourself what goes into a Hope Box, and the answer is really simple.
When you give just $11, you are making it possible to provide 1 neighbour with about a week’s worth of food. The items an individual may receive from their neighbourhood food bank may look something like the picture to the right.
What are the typical items that actually go IN a Hope Box?
- Fresh food – fruit, vegetables, dairy products, meat, 1L of milk, eggs
- Pantry staples – 1 box of cold cereal, 2 snacks, 2 cans of vegetables, 2 cans/jars of fruit, 1 soup or stew, 1 can of fish or meat, 1 small bag of pasta, 1 jar of pasta sauce, 2 cans of beans, 1 peanut butter or jam, 2 small bags of rice, 1 condiment,1 box of mac and cheese, 2 packs of cookies, 1 pack of tea bags/coffee/hot chocolate, 1 pack of crackers
- Personal Care & Household – 2 personal care items (shampoo, hygiene, etc.), 1 cleaning supplies/household item, and 2 rolls of toilet paper
We can provide all this food thanks to the generosity of our food donors – it’s pretty amazing for $11!
When you provide a Hope Box, your gift is more than just nutritious food, it’s a demonstration of hope. So this holiday season we are asking you to partner with us to #shareholidayhope by proving one or more #HolidayHopeBoxes to feed your hungry neighbours!
This holiday season we are asking you to partner with us to #shareholidayhope by proving one or more #HolidayHopeBoxes to feed your hungry neighbours!
It’s simple. Click here to give a Hope Box today.
Introducing Our Newest Member Agency: St. Mary’s Food Bank – Streetsville
Did you know that one of the greatest hindrances to people who need to access a food bank is travel time/cost?
At The Mississauga Food Bank we are always trying to break down the barriers that prevent people from accessing the food that they need. To do this, we work with food banks, pantries, snack/meal programs and breakfast clubs all over Mississauga. These member agencies play a key role in making it possible to combat hunger in the city.
So, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the newest agency in our network, St. Mary’s Food Bank – Streetsville! This food bank will be serving clients in the postal codes L5M and L5N. The clients in these postal codes were previously going to St. Mary’s Food Bank – Coopers, but we found the travel distance was creating too much of a barrier to them accessing the food they need.
Our solution to this problem was to support St. Mary’s Food Bank to launch their new Streetsville location. We are excited to see them ramp up their operations as more and more clients are redirected to this new location. With a food bank closer to home, our hope is that clients who did not go to any food bank before could start accessing their services.
Right now, this new food bank has a stable roster of volunteers, and food for the people they are serving. We couldn’t be more thrilled about this new partnership and are excited to see how St. Mary’s – Streetsville impacts the community around them! So far, the new food bank is serving approximately 20 households (80 people) a month!
Visit our food bank finder tool to find the neighbourhood food bank closest to you.
Special Giving Opportunity!
We are regularly inspired by the number of those within our community who want to be a part of the solution for those who are hungry. Today is no exception.
Usually, every $2 The Mississauga Food Bank receives allows us to provide food for 5 meals to hungry children, families and seniors in our community. But right now, we have a special opportunity for you to make your contributions go twice as far! Thanks to the contribution of a generous donor, the first $10,000 that is raised before November 6th will be matched dollar by dollar. That means every $2 you give will allow us to provide 10 meals to people in need! OR in other words, your gift today – of any amount – will automatically double and provide twice the number of meals to families in need!
If you would like to be a part of this special initiative through your donation today, please click here to give!
Thank you again for fighting hunger and feeding hope!
Final Thanksgiving Campaign Results
This year, we started the 2016 Annual Thanksgiving Campaign with the goal of raising $100,000 and 200,000 lbs of food for our hungry neighbours. Over the course of the campaign, we have been continually overwhelmed with the support and generosity of our community!
Therefore, we are thrilled to announce that your hard work and dedication has brought in a grand total of $123,531 and 219,975 lbs of food!!
We would like to take a moment to acknowledge those who played a major part in raising awareness for this campaign.
A huge thank you Mayor Bonnie Crombie for issuing the #onebagchallenge and tirelessly encouraging members of the community to #setthetable for our neighbours.
Thanks to Tim Hortons Mississauga for participating as our campaign sponsor and to the local businesses who either donated, collected food donations or allowed us to conduct the #GroceryStoreBlitz.
To the elementary and secondary schools that participated in the #SchoolChallenge and the Fire Stations that acted as collection sites, thank you.
To the numerous individual and corporate groups of volunteers that spent hours sorting food in our warehouse, thank you.
But mostly, thank you Mississauga for your willingness to take action on behalf of the members of your community who are living in poverty. Thanks to you, food for 573,858 meals will be provided to those in need.
We couldn’t be more thankful.
Special Thanks to our Campaign Sponsors!
Thanksgiving Campaign Update – Updated Daily!
What a weekend! We took a break from the daily updates to focus on the #GroceryStoreBlitz, #FamilyThanksgivingCelebration and of course to spend some time being #thankful.
Over the weekend you gave/collected 38,660 lbs of food. That brings us into the final week our our #ThanksgivingCampaign with 117,105 lbs of food towards our goal. We’re still waiting on our final tally from all of the coins that were donated, but we’ll have our donation total soon!
With Friday October 14th quickly approaching, we look forward to seeing how many more people respond to the #onebagchallenge and how many choose make a donation to help their hungry neighbours!
We are so #thankful for you all. Stay tuned for more updates.
Another awesome day at the Food Bank!
Your efforts and generosity brought us up to $80,056 and 78,445 lbs of food today! There is ONE WEEK left in the campaign and we’re kicking off the #GroceryStoreBlitz tomorrow! Stay tuned for updates.
You can still sign up for weekend volunteer slots by clicking here.
What a day we had yesterday!
Thanks to so many generous friends who are helping to #SetTheTable for the hungry neighbours. We are now at $75,101 and 67,075 lbs of food.
We can’t wait to see all your generosity this weekend at the grocery stores and our Family Thanksgiving Celebration.
Fall is in the air! The leaves are changing colour, Thanksgiving is less than a week away and The Mississauga Food Bank is bustling with activity! Here’s some information on how our Thanksgiving Campaign is shaping up.
We are 9 short days away from the end of our Thanksgiving Campaign and we are so thankful for everyone who has contributed so far. As of October 4, you have raised $47,112 and 53,000 lbs of food to feed hungry members of your community!
We still hope to raise $100,000 and 200,000 pounds of food by October 14, and we can’t do it without your help!
You can donate online today by clicking here.
This weekend our volunteers will be out in full force! On Saturday and Sunday, there will be groups of volunteers collecting donations in local grocery stores for the #GroceryStoreBlitz. There will also be volunteers helping with food pickups and deliveries all weekend and providing support for the Family Thanksgiving Celebration on Saturday.
We still have volunteer spots available! If you’d like to participate, please click here to register.
Once again, thank you to everyone has already given time, food or donations! We’re excited to spend this weekend with our volunteers and neighbours being #thankful.
7 Ways You Can Feed Hungry Families This Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we are thankful for. But for many in Mississauga, this is hard to do when they can barely put food on their table. Our Thanksgiving Campaign kicked off on September 19 and, so far, you’ve raised 27, 965 pounds of food and $22, 674 for your hungry neighbours! Thank you for your generosity, our campaign is off to a fantastic start.
To meet the needs of hungry people and their families in Mississauga, we need your help to raise $100,000 and 200,000 pounds of food by October 14. There are plenty of ways to get involved and take action. Here’s how you can help ‘Set the Table’ for our neighbours this Thanksgiving:
Just $2 provides food for 5 meals! Click here to make a donation online.
From Mayor Bonnie Crombie to MPP Charles Sousa, people across Mississauga are taking the #OneBagChallenge! So can you. Here’s how it works:
- Fill a bag (or more!) with nutritious food for your neighbours.
- Take a photo or video as you deliver your donation to your local grocery store or fire station or bring it to us at The Mississauga Food Bank (3121 Universal Dr).
- Post your photo or video on social media and challenge five friends to do the same within 48 hours. Make sure to use the hashtag #OneBagChallenge!
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities available this Thanksgiving! You can sign up on our Volunteer Calendar to:
- Collect food and cash donations from shoppers at stores throughout Mississauga on Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9.
- Assist our truck driver to pick up food donations across the city and deliver them to the Food Bank on Thanksgiving weekend.
- Provide support at our Family Thanksgiving Celebration event on Saturday, October 8.
This Thanksgiving, COBS Bread is challenging all Elementary and Secondary schools across Mississauga to help feed hungry families. Participating schools will have from Monday, September 19 until Wednesday, October 12 at 9:00AM to raise the most food and funds for their neighbours. Once all donations have been collected from schools by The Mississauga Food Bank on October 12, the top Elementary and Secondary school will each have their efforts rewarded with a prize courtesy of COBS Bread! Click here to sign up.
The Mississauga Board of Trade is challenging corporate teams across Mississauga to help feed their hungry neighbours. Participating corporate teams will have from September 19 to October 14 at 12pm to raise the most food and funds for families in need across Mississauga. Once all donations have been received, the top registered corporation will have their efforts rewarded with a prize courtesy of MBOT! All corporations, big or small, are encouraged to participate. Click here to sign up.
Are you looking for something to do with the family on Thanksgiving weekend? How about teaching your kids about giving back? Bring your family to deliver a Thanksgiving Campaign food and/or cash donation on Saturday, October 8 at our Family Thanksgiving Celebration! We’ll be at Mississauga Fire & Emergency Services Headquarters waiting to celebrate your generosity with free family fun activities courtesy of our Thanksgiving Drive sponsors. Rabba Fine Foods will be matching your food donations at this event up to one ton! Thanks to Rabba for generously sponsoring this event.
Download our social media shareables to promote the Thanksgiving Campaign to your family and friends.
Why Volunteering is the Best Team Building Exercise
The most dynamic, successful workplaces are the ones where “Teamwork” isn’t just a word on a motivational poster. Solid teamwork is one of the biggest strengths that you can have in the workplace and volunteering as a team can take your work-family to a whole new level.
We sat down with our Corporate Giving Coordinator, Stephanie, to tell us how:
Hi Stephanie! Your title is Corporate Giving Coordinator. What does that mean?
Mississauga is home to a lot of companies that want to make a positive impact in their community. I’m here to help them do that!
What are the top 3 reasons why a corporate team should come in to volunteer?
Well, first off, helping others is fantastic reason to take a break from the office. The Mississauga Food Bank provides food for 2.3 million meals each year and our volunteers help to make that happen.
It’s also a very fun way for corporate teams to bond with each other. People who work well together outside of the office will, in turn, work well together inside the office.
Finally, it demonstrates your company’s values. It shows the community that you – and your company – care.
Is it fun?
Yeah of course it’s fun! It’s fun to take a break from your daily routine and give to a worthy cause. Most people aren’t aware of the complexities involved with running a food bank. You learn that it’s actually a lot of work to get our neighbours the help they need. And your team can play a huge part in that. Every team leaves here with the satisfaction that they’ve done something to make things easier for someone struggling to make ends meet.
What kind of things would a team do when they get here?
The average volunteer team shift is 3 hours long. First, you’d arrive and be trained on how we sort and inventory our food donations. When donations come in, we have to hand inspect them to ensure that they haven’t expired and their packaging isn’t damaged. We have to look at every single product, which requires a lot of volunteer help! Then we need to sort donations into different food categories.
We also need volunteer support to assist our truck drivers, which means you’re out in the community collecting food donations as well as distributing food to our member agencies across Mississauga.
So if a corporate team wants to volunteer at the food bank, what do they need to do to make that happen?
This year, we’ve reserved volunteer shifts during the busiest season (September – December) exclusively for corporate teams. We’re also asking that corporate teams first make an impact through a food or fund donation.
As the demand for corporate volunteer positions often exceeds the shifts we have available, we’ve chosen to recognize those groups who support us in other ways (funds and/or food) by providing them with opportunities to volunteer. We ask that every corporate team provide a minimum gift of $500 to cover the cost of resources needed to distribute the food which the group will sort, or to donate 300 lbs. of food. So, for example, we can help you organize a food drive or fundraiser in your workplace. Once that’s been completed, we can plan your corporate team building experience.
And you’re the person to reach out to get the ball rolling?
Yes! You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 905-270-5589 x.228.
I Interned at The Mississauga Food Bank This Summer: 4 Things That Surprised Me Most
Guest Post by Emily Markes
Hello! I’m Emily, a fourth year Psychology student at the University of Guelph, and this summer I was lucky enough to work at The Mississauga Food Bank as the Food Programs Assistant. I was responsible for conducting an annual client survey, which involved visiting member agencies and speaking directly with clients. In addition to working with all the amazing staff here at TMFB, I got to meet a number of inspiring individuals at each agency. I was collecting feedback from the clients about the quality of food and service at each food bank, and it really helped me become aware of the needs of people in Mississauga.
Here are the four biggest surprises this summer:
1. The member agencies. I have always known about The Mississauga Food Bank, but I didn’t know that they deliver food to a network of organizations located across Mississauga. They include neighbourhood food banks, pantries, hot meal programs, breakfast clubs and shelters. Since I had the opportunity to visit 6 of the agencies, I got to see how each operates in its own way.
2. The number of families and individuals served at each food bank each week. I grew up in Mississauga and it shocked me most when I learned how many member agencies we have and how many people visit each of them. Our neighbourhood food banks were visited 85,889 times last year. There were also 103,494 visits to meal, snack and breakfast programs.Some people have this idea of Mississauga being a well-to-do suburb, but working at the food bank makes you realize how many hungry people there actually are.
3. Importance of donations all year long. Of course everyone knows donating to the food bank is important and helpful, but I never realized to what extent. Without donations – whether it’s from a corporation, a food drive or someone dropping off a can of fruit – there would be no food bank. I witnessed the ‘slow period’ that happens during the summer as donations are down because people are away on vacation and just aren’t thinking about their hungry neighbours. It’s important to remember that people need food in the summer too, not just the holidays.
4. The variety of food. Whenever you hear of a food drive happening in your community, you automatically think non-perishable canned food. While these foods are always helpful, it surprised me to see the amount of fresh and frozen foods we distribute to the agencies. I also think it’s really cool that the food bank plans to distribute even more fruits and vegetables to increase the quality of food for clients.
You Can Make This a #HungerFreeSummer
While donations slow down to a trickle during the summer months at food banks across the country, the need remains the same. But YOU can create a Hunger-Free Summer for families in Mississauga! Here’s how you can join the #HungerFreeSummer movement:
Make a donation
Your donation goes a long way! Every $2 you donate provides food for 5 wholesome meals. Donate today.
Run a food drive or fundraiser
Community Events are limited only by your imagination – garage sales, scavenger hunts, charity dinners…almost anything! Events of all sizes play a very important part in raising awareness about hunger in Mississauga and providing the food and funds we need to feed our hungry neighbours. Learn more and don’t forget to register your event!
You can pick up some extra items and drop them off at your local grocery store or fire hall. Or you can make a donation directly to our warehouse (including fresh items) at 3121 Universal Dr. Check out our list of most needed food items for donation inspiration!
Spread the word
Help out in the warehouse, hop on the truck to help deliver food, join us at events and much more. It’s easy to sign up on our Volunteer Calendar!