Friday, December 18, 2009

Delivering Christmas Hampers for the Food Bank

Later today, Anne and I will join the many volunteers to deliver Christmas Hampers to those in need. The local food bank, the Kanata Food Bank, is one of several in the City of Ottawa. While this will be the first time we have helped in Ottawa, it is not the first time of being involved with food banks.

For several years I have delivered fresh vegetables (tomatoes, cucumers etc) to the Kanata Food Bank as my garden's harvest exceeds what our family can eat. I am usually welcomed there as "The Veggie Man."

When we lived in Red Lake in NW Ontario, our church was the site for the collection and then distribution of Christmas hampers for the Chukuni Christmas Cheer Board. Along with many other volunteers I would go to the local super market and help load food from there as well as help sort out all the other donations of food, clothing and toys. These were then allocated to the various hampers. Delivery day, just before Christmas, was a fun occasion as trucks arrived to help get the hampers to those who were to receive them. That was not too difficult within the local towns of Red Lake, Balmertown and Cochenour. However some deliveries were made to locations in the bush accessible only by snow mobile. Still, all were delivered very year.

One delivery I made stays in my memory. It was to first nations people who lived in a canvas tent with a wood stove for heating. Red Lake's temperature could reach minus 40 celcius (which is the same as minus 40 F). It was an unimaginable situation.

Today's deliveries will be made in a community where poverty is not so obvious. The same need is there however.

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