Weston food bank offers helping hand to neighbourhood

Community Aug 03, 2017 by Aaron D'Andrea York Guardian

On a humid Wednesday morning in midsummer, close to a dozen volunteers gathered at two parked cars filled with non-perishable food items so they could stock the shelves at Weston Area Emergency Support (WAES).

“We got 96 boxes of pasta,” a volunteer said.

“We’d have to get more next week,” replied Margaret Roberts, a 20-year volunteer who helps oversee operation of the food bank.

“This (the food) will all go out on Tuesday” due to the large number of people who use the tiny food bank each week, she later told the York Guardian.

“When I started here, if we had 40 or 50 households, that was a busy morning,” Roberts said. “Now, we can go anywhere up to 80 or 100.”

The food bank, located in the back of the Frontlines building at 1844 Weston Rd. near Lawrence Avenue West, is only open for clients on Tuesdays during the summer (July and August), but its volunteers, mostly from Toronto’s Weston neighbourhood, come in throughout the week to help out.

According to its 2016 annual report, WAES helps an average of 800 people each month.

The community members who use the food bank include newcomers to Canada, people with disabilities, and people with most of their income spent on rent and utilities.

Furthermore, the report added 32 per cent of its clients are children under 18.

“There’s such a need out there … people have no idea,” Roberts said. “Today, an awful lot of our people are working part time, some of them may get a few hours a week; how can you support a family? … it’s very hard.”

It was founded by several local churches in 1986.

The volunteer-run organization is supplied with food from the North York Harvest and Second Harvest food bank organizations, which makes up 60 per cent of its stock. They also get help from various community members and businesses.

Clients receive a food hamper that can last approximately three days, and contains items such as canned meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, rice and pasta.

“Every week we bag a set amount of items so that if you come in here single rather than being a family, that’s what you get,” said volunteer Colleen Dodds. “They (volunteers) don’t have to go around and gather it, it’s already done and they just hand it to you.”

Dodds described the volunteers as family, and she looks forward to helping out at the food bank.

“We're so blessed with the help from the community that we can help out the people that need it,” added Dodds’ colleague Robert Heath.

Looking ahead, Roberts said she hopes more good paying jobs become available for the food bank’s clients.

“That to me would be the biggest help for any food bank or any community,” she said.

Those interested in seeking information on how to become a volunteer or make a donation can call WAES at 416-247-3737.

Weston food bank offers helping hand to neighbourhood

Centre averages 800 visits a month

Community Aug 03, 2017 by Aaron D'Andrea York Guardian

On a humid Wednesday morning in midsummer, close to a dozen volunteers gathered at two parked cars filled with non-perishable food items so they could stock the shelves at Weston Area Emergency Support (WAES).

“We got 96 boxes of pasta,” a volunteer said.

“We’d have to get more next week,” replied Margaret Roberts, a 20-year volunteer who helps oversee operation of the food bank.

“This (the food) will all go out on Tuesday” due to the large number of people who use the tiny food bank each week, she later told the York Guardian.

“We're so blessed with the help from the community that we can help out the people that need it." - Robert Heath, volunteer.

“When I started here, if we had 40 or 50 households, that was a busy morning,” Roberts said. “Now, we can go anywhere up to 80 or 100.”

The food bank, located in the back of the Frontlines building at 1844 Weston Rd. near Lawrence Avenue West, is only open for clients on Tuesdays during the summer (July and August), but its volunteers, mostly from Toronto’s Weston neighbourhood, come in throughout the week to help out.

According to its 2016 annual report, WAES helps an average of 800 people each month.

The community members who use the food bank include newcomers to Canada, people with disabilities, and people with most of their income spent on rent and utilities.

Furthermore, the report added 32 per cent of its clients are children under 18.

“There’s such a need out there … people have no idea,” Roberts said. “Today, an awful lot of our people are working part time, some of them may get a few hours a week; how can you support a family? … it’s very hard.”

It was founded by several local churches in 1986.

The volunteer-run organization is supplied with food from the North York Harvest and Second Harvest food bank organizations, which makes up 60 per cent of its stock. They also get help from various community members and businesses.

Clients receive a food hamper that can last approximately three days, and contains items such as canned meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, rice and pasta.

“Every week we bag a set amount of items so that if you come in here single rather than being a family, that’s what you get,” said volunteer Colleen Dodds. “They (volunteers) don’t have to go around and gather it, it’s already done and they just hand it to you.”

Dodds described the volunteers as family, and she looks forward to helping out at the food bank.

“We're so blessed with the help from the community that we can help out the people that need it,” added Dodds’ colleague Robert Heath.

Looking ahead, Roberts said she hopes more good paying jobs become available for the food bank’s clients.

“That to me would be the biggest help for any food bank or any community,” she said.

Those interested in seeking information on how to become a volunteer or make a donation can call WAES at 416-247-3737.

Weston food bank offers helping hand to neighbourhood

Centre averages 800 visits a month

Community Aug 03, 2017 by Aaron D'Andrea York Guardian

On a humid Wednesday morning in midsummer, close to a dozen volunteers gathered at two parked cars filled with non-perishable food items so they could stock the shelves at Weston Area Emergency Support (WAES).

“We got 96 boxes of pasta,” a volunteer said.

“We’d have to get more next week,” replied Margaret Roberts, a 20-year volunteer who helps oversee operation of the food bank.

“This (the food) will all go out on Tuesday” due to the large number of people who use the tiny food bank each week, she later told the York Guardian.

“We're so blessed with the help from the community that we can help out the people that need it." - Robert Heath, volunteer.

“When I started here, if we had 40 or 50 households, that was a busy morning,” Roberts said. “Now, we can go anywhere up to 80 or 100.”

The food bank, located in the back of the Frontlines building at 1844 Weston Rd. near Lawrence Avenue West, is only open for clients on Tuesdays during the summer (July and August), but its volunteers, mostly from Toronto’s Weston neighbourhood, come in throughout the week to help out.

According to its 2016 annual report, WAES helps an average of 800 people each month.

The community members who use the food bank include newcomers to Canada, people with disabilities, and people with most of their income spent on rent and utilities.

Furthermore, the report added 32 per cent of its clients are children under 18.

“There’s such a need out there … people have no idea,” Roberts said. “Today, an awful lot of our people are working part time, some of them may get a few hours a week; how can you support a family? … it’s very hard.”

It was founded by several local churches in 1986.

The volunteer-run organization is supplied with food from the North York Harvest and Second Harvest food bank organizations, which makes up 60 per cent of its stock. They also get help from various community members and businesses.

Clients receive a food hamper that can last approximately three days, and contains items such as canned meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, rice and pasta.

“Every week we bag a set amount of items so that if you come in here single rather than being a family, that’s what you get,” said volunteer Colleen Dodds. “They (volunteers) don’t have to go around and gather it, it’s already done and they just hand it to you.”

Dodds described the volunteers as family, and she looks forward to helping out at the food bank.

“We're so blessed with the help from the community that we can help out the people that need it,” added Dodds’ colleague Robert Heath.

Looking ahead, Roberts said she hopes more good paying jobs become available for the food bank’s clients.

“That to me would be the biggest help for any food bank or any community,” she said.

Those interested in seeking information on how to become a volunteer or make a donation can call WAES at 416-247-3737.