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To help commemorate The Mississauga Food Bank’s 30th Anniversary, we have been documenting stories of hunger and hope in our community. Over the past month, we have visited several of our 52 member agencies and asked clients to share their experiences with us. The story of a food bank client, volunteer or supporter will be posted every day this month.

All photos and stories will be shared through social media and on our blog.

Last year, our hungry neighbours visited neighbourhood food banks 80,151 times and made an additional 87,779 visits to our meal, snack and breakfast programs. Make a donation today to help bring hope into their lives.

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Mississauga families are struggling to make ends meet; one in five food bank users received help for the first time this year.

The Face of Hunger 2014Mississauga, Sept. 23, 2014 –There are hungry people in every corner of the city, and The Mississauga Food Bank needs the community’s help to provide them with enough nutritious food this Thanksgiving.

The Mississauga Food Bank launched its Annual Thanksgiving Drive yesterday with a goal of collecting 100,000 pounds of food and raising $75,000 by Oct. 17. The food bank has also released its second annual report on hunger in the city – The Face of Hunger in Mississauga.

The report tells that one in five food bank visitors received help for the first time this year, and more than 70% of users have been living in Canada for more than three years. Food bank staff hope this information will break stereotypes that food bank users take advantage of the system and are mostly recent immigrants.

“It’s important to remember that the people who use food banks in Mississauga are our neighbours,” says Chris Hatch, Executive Director of The Mississauga Food Bank. “When you donate food or money to The Mississauga Food Bank, you’re supporting your own community, your neighbours, maybe your friends, family members or coworkers.”

Food bank staff and volunteers will be out at neighbourhood grocery stores collecting food and cash donations on Friday, Oct. 10 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Look for them at Loblaws (Mavis/Britannia-Heartland); Real Canadian Superstore (Argentia/Winston Churchill); Real Canadian Superstore (Mavis/Dundas); Loblaws (Glen Erin/Eglinton), and Metro (Southdown/Lakeshore). Food can also be donated year-round at any Mississauga fire station.

Read or download a copy of The Face of Hunger in Mississauga on our website.

To donate to The Mississauga Food Bank online, visit donate.themississaugafoodbank.org.

About The Mississauga Food Bank

The Mississauga Food Bank serves the entire city of Mississauga. Through its network of member agencies – including neighbourhood food banks, hot meal programs and breakfast clubs – The Mississauga Food Bank distributes food for over 209,000 meals each month.

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Media Contact:

Meghan Nicholls
meghan@themississaugafoodbank.org | 905-270-5589 x226

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This month, we want to talk to you about “what’s for dinner”. We know that everyone wants to feed their families the healthiest food possible, even those who use a food bank. And we all know that healthy food is fresh food – fruit, vegetables, protein, milk. But we don’t always know how many people are in need or how we can help.. 

Did you know that over 110,000 of our neighbours in Mississauga are living in poverty, struggling to make ends meet? In order to keep their families healthy, these neighbours turn to the food bank to stretch their grocery budget and receive nutritious food.

So this month, we’re inviting you to put yourself in the shoes of the families in our community who are struggling. We’re asking you to think about what you would want to feed your family if you were to fall on hard times. We invite you to engage with us, ask questions, and learn about the different projects and programs that focus on health and nutrition for food bank clients! One of these exciting projects is something that we’re very proud of…

 

The FoodCents Cookbook!

The FoodCents Cookbook was created to provide clients with healthy, budget-friendly recipes that also taste great! This cookbook has over 30 different recipes to try that are easy to follow, simple to make and use simple ingredients.

Thanks to the support of a generous donor, 3,000 clients will receive a hard copy of this cookbook!

Download a copy of the FoodCents Cookbook here!

FoodCents Cookbook

Dear Supporters,

In response to the many questions I am receiving and in light of Eden Food for Change’s Board of Director’s announcement cancelling their Fresh Produce Box program, I want to clarify the role that The Mississauga Food Bank plays in our community.

The Mississauga Food Bank is the central food bank for the city as mandated by the Ontario Association of Food Banks and Food Banks Canada. We provide food to hungry neighbours through our network of 54 member agencies who are located across the city to ensure food is available in every neighbourhood of Mississauga. Food is provided from these agencies to those living in poverty at no cost and regardless of religion, race, immigration status or sexuality.

The main source of food for food bank clients are seven neighbourhood food banks in our network. These food banks provide clients with up to 10 days’ of food each month by distributing fresh, frozen and canned/dry fruit and vegetables, protein, dairy products and grains in quantities according to Canada’s Food Guide.

These food banks are:

● The Compass Market – Serving clients living in postal codes L5J, L5H, L5G, L5E

● Salvation Army Erin Mills – Serving clients living in postal codes L5L and L5K

● Seva Food Bank Malton – Serving clients living in postal codes L5T, L5S, L5P, L4T, L4V

● Seva Food Bank Wolfedale – Serving clients living in postal codes L5C and L5B

● St. Mary’s Food Bank Coopers – Serving clients living in postal codes L5W, L5V, L5R, L4Z,

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● St. Mary’s Food Bank Dundas – Serving clients living in postal codes L5A, L4Y, L4X

● St. Mary’s Food Bank Streetsville – Serving clients living in postal codes L5N and L5M

There are an additional 47 agencies in our network providing food including breakfast clubs, soup kitchens, youth-at-risk programs, seniors programs, shelters and food pantries/cupboards. The food bank at Eden Food for Change is not one of these agencies.

Please be assured that The Mississauga Food Bank remains committed to its mission of A Mississauga Where No One Goes Hungry and will continue to source, manage and distribute healthy food across Mississauga as long as people living in poverty require our support. I am grateful for the generosity and funding from thousands of individuals, companies, groups, the Region of Peel and Ontario Trillium Foundation that has enabled us to serve Mississauga for the past 31 years.

Sincerely,

Shawn McMurter

President and Chair, The Mississauga Food Bank Board of Directors

Food Bank

Thank you!

Thanks to YOU, the annual Spring Food Drive raised 80,178 pounds of food and $87,876!

We were overwhelmed by the number of Mississauga residents who organized school, office and community food drives to feed their hungry neighbours. These drives plus the collections taking place at local fire stations and grocery stores helped raise enough food and funds to provide 316,290 meals to those in need. The final results of 80,178 pounds of food and $87,876 far exceeded the Spring Food Drive’s goals of  75,000 pounds of food and $75,000.

“Hungry neighbours come to their neighbourhood food bank when they have no other options for feeding their families. The community’s generous response to the Spring Food Drive will not only ensure that our neighbours don’t go hungry this spring, but also brings hope to those struggling in poverty.”

-Chris Hatch, Executive Director at The Mississauga Food Bank

Food and funds donations collected through the Spring Food Drive will ensure food bank clients receive the wholesome food they need throughout the Spring and Summer months when donations decline. Thank you for fighting hunger and feeding hope.

Thanks to our Spring Food Drive sponsors, RBC Royal Bank and Scotts Canada, and to the generous donor who gave the matching gift.

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1: Sign Up to Run/Walk!

You can join in this family-friendly run/walk event by signing up for a 2K, 5K, 10K, Half or Full Marathon race.

You can sign up for your race here. Don’t forget to use the Discount Registration Code: MFB!

2: Join Team TMFB

When you register, create a personal fundraising page and add yourself to The Mississauga Food Bank’s fundraising team! If you need any support throughout the registration process, call Juliana at 905.270.5589 x233.

3: Start Fundraising

As a team we’re racing toward the goal of raising $10,000! You can ask your friends, family or coworkers to make a donation to The Mississauga Food Bank.

 

If you can’t join us to race, don’t sweat it! You can still help us raise funds and awareness for hunger in Mississauga.

The Mississauga Food Bank has a vision for a Mississauga where no one goes hungry—and so does LawDepot. As part of our new legacy giving partnership, we want to make it easier for you to support this vision, now and in the future.

How? Through legacy giving.

 

What is legacy giving?

Legacy giving means to leave a monetary or physical gift to a charity in your Last Will and Testament.
Why should you donate through legacy giving?

  • It’s a great way to support The Mississauga Food Bank in the future, even if you are unable to donate today.
  • It helps ensure that The Mississauga Food Bank can continue to feed hungry neighbours in years to come.
  • You have to make your estate plans anyway—why not support your favourite charity while you’re at it?

How do I donate a legacy gift?

  • If you don’t already have a Last Will, you can make one through LawDepot. Just fill out the questionnaire online and input The Mississauga Food Bank’s information under Specific Gifts or Residue.
  • If you already have a Last Will and haven’t left a legacy gift to The Mississauga Food Bank, you can create a Gift Deed instead.

You will need the following information:

  • The Mississauga Food Bank’s operating name: The Mississauga Food Bank
  • Charity registration number: 11892 7011 RR0001

What counts as a legacy gift?

A legacy donation can be anything from a specific amount of money (for example, $200.00), the residue of your estate (what is left over after all expenses and debts have been paid), or a physical donation, like a car, house, or valuable item that could be sold or auctioned off.

Don’t forget that any amount can help—a $2.00 donation provides enough food for 5 meals!

How do legacy gifts help The Mississauga Food Bank?

Every donation helps to make a difference, especially when your support provides over 198,000 meals to those in need each month.
One of the biggest benefits of legacy donations to charities is that they are long-term. This means legacy donations help to support the charity in years to come so they can continue to meet the needs of the community without having to rely entirely on current donations.
Legacy gifts also help charities to survive outside of prime donation times, like the holiday season, when people tend to donate less frequently.

Legacy Giving and Your Community

Legacy giving is an excellent way to support the charities that mean the most to you, like The Mississauga Food Bank.
No one should have to go without food, and not everyone can afford to make an out-of-pocket donation today. Instead, support The Mississauga Food Bank and help build a hunger-free community for the next generation by including them in your estate plans with LawDepot.

TMFB is calling on the members of our caring community to plant seeds of hope this Spring and donate to the Spring Food Drive! With over 200,000 visits to our agencies every year, we need your help to ensure our neighbours have enough to eat.

The Spring Food Drive started on March 27 and is running until April 21, with goals of raising $75,000 and 75,000 pounds of food. By supporting this campaign, you will provide food to the members of our community who need it most.

Seeds-6“We are always overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity and support during the Thanksgiving and Holiday Drives. However, our clients’ need for wholesome food remains high year-round. We rely on the Spring Food Drive to provide food to our clients as we move into the lean Spring and Summer months.”

-Chris Hatch, Executive Director 

Here are 3 ways you can get involved:

  • Donate Money: Thanks to the support of a generous donor, donations made to the Spring Food Drive before April 21 will be matched dollar for dollar. That means just $2 will provide food for 10 meals! Donations can be made securely online or by calling 905.270.5589
  • Donate Food: Shop for our most-needed items and drop them off at a local grocery store, fire station, or at the food bank. Most needed items are canned fruit or vegetables and protein (ie. canned meats or beans).
  • Volunteer: Volunteers are needed at grocery stores on Saturday, April 15 to collect food and cash donations from shoppers. See our Volunteer Calendar to register.

There’s no better time to feed your hungry neighbours. Make a gift today.

On May 6th and 7th, you can outRUN Hunger with The Mississauga Food Bank by participating in the Mississauga Marathon. Members of our community will be fighting hunger in Mississauga by raising funds for their hungry neighbours.

Here are the top 3 reasons why we think you should join team TMFB to outRUN Hunger!

1) It’s a fun, family friendly event! 

Team TMFB is happy to welcome runners of any level of experience. In fact, you don’t even have to run! You can sign up to run OR walk a 2K, 5K, 10K, Half or Full Marathon, alone or with friends.

2) It’s a great team building activity! 

Get your workplace or community group involved by signing up as a group! Start a friendly competition to see who is able to raise the most money for your hungry neighbours.

3) It’s an awesome way to provide healthy food for your community.


If you’ve been looking for exciting ways to make a difference in your community, look no further! Every $2 dollars you raise will provide food for 5 healthy meals for people in our community.

Feeling up for the challenge? Sign up for your race here.

Don’t forget to use the Discount Registration Code: MFB

Not able to race with us? Click here to donate to Team TMFB!

 

Ps. Don’t forget to Cheer Us On!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to keep up with our runners as they prep for the race.

 

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We arrived at one of our member agency breakfast clubs on a cold morning just after 7:30am. In the gym, benches and tables with plastic tablecloths were set up, and backpacks were strewn on the floor. On the buffet table, there were trays of homemade veggie pizzas on English muffins, veggie and cheese wraps and grilled cheese sandwiches. There were two kinds of cut fruit, cups of chocolate milk, and cold cereals. 

The kids are greeted by name, laughing and joking with their friends as make their way through the line. They finish their food then head off to the homework club held in the library.

At this school, the breakfast program provides up to 40 kids a healthy breakfast 5 days a week. But, thanks to people like you, the help doesn’t end there. The school also has a supply of healthy snacks and juices on hand for students who don’t have a lunch either.

The Vice Principal who organizes the program said, Kids are coming to school without anything to eat, so the food from you is crucial. We couldn’t afford to offer so much to them without the supplies we get from the food bank.”

We all know that poverty in Mississauga is a complex, far-reaching problem. But when it comes right down to it, many children just don’t have enough to eat. With 15% of Mississauga’s population living in poverty, it’s no wonder kids are arriving at school with empty tummies. But this is a struggle no child should have.

You can ensure kids in our community have the healthy food they need to fuel their day by donating to the Rise & Shine Kids Campaign today.

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Last week, we talked about everything that happens inside our warehouse, so this week we’re focusing on how it gets where it needs to go!

Steve DuttonThis is Steve – our full-time driver who delivers food to our member agencies all over the city. He also picks up donations from all of the places YOU donate it. On any given week, he will make deliveries to 15-20 agencies and pick up donations from grocery stores, fire halls, schools and other corporate donors all around the city. We’ve split the city into zones, but Steve still averages 400+ kilometers of driving every week!

Come along for the ride and see what a day on the road is like.

Load Up the Truck

First thing in the morning, Steve works with our warehouse team to prep the daily orders. Usually, the ‘dry’ food is already packed and ready to go on the truck but they still need to prepare all of the fresh and frozen items. Once this has been packed on the truck, he’s ready to hit the road!

Agency Deliveries

Agencies receive food based on their size and the number of clients they serve, so each order is slightly different. Once he arrives at the agency, he follows three simple steps:

  1. Bring the order inside.
  2. Help staff and volunteers unload the boxes.
  3. Sign the paperwork and say goodbye.

From here, the food goes directly to our hungry neighbours!

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Picking up Donations

Once all of the deliveries are done, its time to fill the truck back up again! Steve keeps all of the donations separated according to where they are from so that they get properly entered into the warehouse inventory. And so we can say thank you to the donors!

Corporations

Steve backs right into their loading bay and brings the donations directly onto the truck.

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Other Donors

Some of our community donors have permanent or temporary bins at their locations so Steve has to transfer the food directly into boxes on the back of the truck.

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Even though the pick ups may look very different, the end result is the same: a full truck bringing healthy food back to the warehouse to be unloaded, sorted, then sent back out to the community!

If you’d like to ride along with Steve for a day, sign up to volunteer as a Truck Assistant! You’ll ride shotgun and help to deliver and pick up food – it’s a fun day!

Before the food can be boxed and sent to our member agencies to be distributed to clients, our trusty volunteers ensure the best before dates have been checked and that the product isn’t damaged. Did you know that 1.4 million pounds of food came through our warehouse to be distributed to our hungry neighbours last year? In today’s blog, walk with us through the process from when food first arrives at the docking bay to when it goes out to our agencies.

Step One: Weigh In

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When a delivery arrives, our warehouse staff unload the truck, weigh each donation and log it into the warehouse database.

Step Two: Tag It

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Each new delivery gets a ‘license plate’ that shows it has been received and tracks when it arrived in the warehouse. Once the donations have been logged, they are sent to the ‘receiving’ or ‘staging’ area until they are ready to be sorted.

Step Three: Heavy Lifting

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When the volunteers are ready for more items to sort, our warehouse staff uses the forklift to bring a pallet over to the sorting area.

Step Four: Check the Date & Inspect for Damage!

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Before the food can be boxed and sent to our member agencies to be distributed to clients, our trusty volunteers ensure the best before dates have been checked and that the product isn’t damaged.

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How do they know what food is still good? Easy, they just refer to the “Best-Before Board”! Once they make sure the food is not outside of our best before protocols, it goes into a grocery cart for the next step.

Step Five: Sorting and Boxing

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We sort food into 25 different categories according to type of food.

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We have categories for everything from breakfast foods, soups and baking items to meats and vegetables.

Step Six: Pallet-ing Area

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Once the boxes are full, they’re taped closed and placed on a pallet that corresponds with their category. Each box weighs approximately 10 pounds and each pallet can hold up to 40 packed boxes!

Step Seven: The Picking Row 

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To fill the orders for our member agencies, the warehouse staff pull from the ‘picking row’. They use the database to fill this row with stock based on how long it has been in the warehouse. First in, first out!

Step Eight: Send it Out

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We load the truck and make deliveries to our member agencies all around the city!

Secret Weapon: Volunteers   

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Last year, our volunteers served for a combined total of more than 13,000 hours. Without them, this process wouldn’t work nearly as quickly as it does now!

Do you want to get involved now that you know more about how our #SortingSystem works? You can sign up here!