Now in its 5th year, CBI’s Hustle for Hunger Toronto has raised $35,000 for Daily Bread Food Bank. We encourage the 170+ annual participants to collect pledges before the race – this can be done online or by printing a downloadable pledge form. Click here for more information.
Merle Slater, Daily Bread’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year!
At this year’s annual volunteer Winter Bash, the Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Merle Slater, who has been volunteering for over a year onsite at Daily Bread in the New Toronto Street Food Bank. Daily Bread could not run without the dedication and hard work of thousands of volunteers.
Every year, staff are asked to nominate people for our Volunteer of the Year award, which is presented at the annual Winter Bash to celebrate everything volunteers do for Daily Bread and the community. Each year, it becomes harder and harder to choose just one person to win this award, when there are so many amazing volunteers.
Allison Townsley, who coordinates the onsite food bank and nominated Merle, says that Merle has committed herself to the clients of the New Toronto Street Food Bank in delivering “superior, empathetic service”.
“I also admire the way Merle courageously shares her personal experience with accessing the food bank to us and to the media”, said Allison. “Not many people want to share their story, let alone to a camera and a world of strangers. She gives us a glimpse into the life of someone struggling with food security, who at the same time beautifully masters communication, humility, bravery and grace and I’m so proud of her for winning this award.”
Ten other amazing volunteers were nominated by staff for their dedication.
Daphne Davidoff – Operations
Daphne has put a tremendous amount of volunteering hours along with an excellent attendance record. She is eager to put in more than her share of work and to help others in completing their tasks. She is flexible to work any shift provided to her without hesitation. Lastly, I really enjoy having Daphne on my team and I appreciate her efforts. – Delroy Stewart
Al De Matos – Warehouse
Al is a very reliable volunteer. He brings his positive and friendly attitude when he volunteers for order picking. He is always punctual and comes in twice a week. Al has great teamwork skills! Al goes above and beyond by helping us with offsite events such Canstruction and Grocery Innovations. – Boris Vahrusev
Sandra Gillis – Kitchen
Sandy has been a rock of support to the kitchen department. Sandy has come in almost every day since she started in November 2011. Sandy’s amazing dependability, pleasant funny nature, warming smile and skill of organization of the dish area and assisting those fellow volunteers, has allowed the kitchen to continue to produce meals for the community. As you can imagine, dishwashers are often the unsung heroes in a kitchen. Thank you Sandy from all the staff and trainees of the kitchen and Daily Bread Food Bank. – Todd Lamswood
Janice Harniman- Data Entry Clerk/Development
Janice joined our team as a volunteer in June. She is one of the hardest working volunteers I have ever had. She always comes in early and goes home later, and puts all her energy to work efficiently. She is very interested in new technology, and tries to use them to improve her work. In just a few months, she already committed 752 hours for Daily Bread Food Bank and did a tremendous job. – Catherine Han
Ivana Jurasic – Agency Support/Referral Operator
Ivana began volunteering early last year. Ivana is a person who is very dedicated to helping clients and is diligent in carrying out the referral process. Her position requires her to speak with clients who at times are in distress, and Ivana remains calm, giving support and information in a professional manner. Ivana is eager to learn and doesn’t hesitate to take on additional tasks. – Reni Kratka
Willy Pega – Facilities
Willy volunteered earlier this year and all throughout the summer. He was practically my shadow, fixing things and painting walls. He had no problem taking on any new project and seeing it through till the end. Thank you Willy! – Jose Falco
Greg Philip – Welcome Centre
Greg is a dedicated, diligent and resourceful volunteer, who has gone above and beyond the call of duty here at the Welcome Centre. He is the ideal role model to the other greeters and is looked upon as a reliable and dependable individual. Greg takes initiative and does not have to be asked or instructed in regards to the daily duties/responsibilities required within this role. In closing Greg is truly an asset to the Welcome Centre. – Tira Campbell
Yuri Sinelnikov – Finance
Yuri is a wonderful volunteer! He has been volunteering in the finance department for over three years. He has helped me unconditionally. Whenever I need his help, he was there. Yuri’s work is always accurate and he meets his deadlines. He’d always ask me if I have any more work for him. Yuri has now found a great job just recently and I miss him dearly, but very happy for him. – Sofia Yesuf
Patricia Smiley – Survey Assistant /Research
Pat has been a dedicated survey volunteer for the past several years. She brings much sensitivity, skill and commitment to the role, which requires going to various food banks and conducting one-on-one interviews with people accessing them. It is volunteers such as Pat who enable us to conduct this very important research project for Daily Bread, which help gives us credibility to our advocacy and public education. – Richard Matern
John Stennett – Production
John has been volunteering in Production since October 2009. John can been seen in the warehouse from one end to the other pulling skids of donated food. John doesn’t hesitate to help his fellow volunteers and the staff of Daily Bread. John is a friend to all. He has a very positive, hardworking and very humble attitude! – Alisha Coroa
In Memory of Gerry Falkowski:
Gerry was a dedicated volunteer who unexpectedly passed away this July after being a part of the Daily Bread volunteer team for many years. Always warm, friendly and ready to say hello, Gerry was often one of the first people in the warehouse. He had a true love for this organization and the work we do. Our sympathy goes out to his family and friends. He will be sadly missed.
On December 13 the Ontario government released its fourth annual progress report on its Poverty Reduction Strategy. The report measures the progress made toward reducing child poverty in Ontario by 25 percent in 5 years.
The 2012 report shows that while progress was made for child poverty based solely on income-based measures, for 2009 and 2010 there was actually a slight increase in child poverty over the same period according to the Ontario Deprivation Index. That means that more children were in families that were experiencing a decrease in standard of living – not being able to afford things like fresh fruits and vegetables, or having to make difficult choices such as paying the rent or putting food on the table.
This may be because the costs of basic items, such as food and fuel, are increasing beyond the rate of inflation and income levels simply can’t keep up. An income-based measure would not take in to account that living costs are going up and that a dollar in 2012 buys less than it would have even a few years ago.
A combination of measures is being used to try and get a more accurate pulse of how many people are affected by poverty. These include the Low Income Measure which defines low income based on half of the median household income and the Ontario Deprivation Index. The Ontario Deprivation Index takes a closer look at the standard of living people in poverty experience, rather than how much income they earn. The Ontario Deprivation Index is a list of 10 items that the majority of Ontarians consider basic necessities and that most can afford. It was developed by Daily Bread Food Bank and the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, in partnership with Statistics Canada and the Ontario government. Households are deprived or considered poor if they do not have and cannot afford two or more items on the 10 item list.
This report shows the importance of having measures such as the Deprivation Index that work with a low income measure of poverty to give a more accurate picture about the standard of living people may be experiencing. The increase in child poverty according to the Deprivation Index shows that the Province has to continue to make this issue a priority in the upcoming Provincial budget and throughout the year.
Help give back to the community by volunteering with Daily Bread as a survey volunteer! Volunteers are the foundation of Daily Bread Food Bank, and we cannot do what we do without your help. Becoming a survey volunteer is one way of giving back, and in taking part in the fight against hunger. We can learn much from food bank clients, who have much to offer, if our ears are open.
What: Daily Bread conducts an annual survey of people who rely on food banks. We need volunteers to conduct surveys for two to three hour shifts. When: February to mid-April, 2013. Hours vary according to your schedule. Where: In more than 50 food banks across the GTA. Who: You! If you are over 19 years old and fluent in English. A special need exists for volunteers who speak any additional language.
Here’s a five-minute video to sum up some of the findings of the newest report on hunger in the GTA. Helping explain it all is Daily Bread’s executive director Gail Nyberg and two of the volunteers who helped gather over 1700 surveys with food bank clients across the GTA. You’ll also hear from one of our own amazing volunteers at Daily Bread who, after falling ill, found herself coming to a food bank after having to leave the job she’d had for 20 years.
Thank you so much to everyone who donated to our Holiday Drive. The Holiday Drive ended on December 31st with $2.1 million raised and just over 550,000 pounds of food donated, against our original goals of a million pounds of food and $1.5 million dollars. We are very happy that the extra dollars raised will let us purchase food to make up for the shortfall in food donations. The food and money donated will allow us to get food out for the next few winter months to over 200 community agencies across Toronto.
If you’re in the east end on Saturday and would like to have a nice walk in the beach neighbourhood or along the boardwalk AND lend your support, here’s an idea:
Join the 30-minute Tour des Flags on Saturday, January 5th at 2 p.m. DailyFlag for Daily Bread is a growing community fundraising event that raises funds and food for us. On Saturday all flags will be unveiled – come on out and enjoy the unique art that is the product of many families and friends in the Leuty Avenue neighbourhood. Meet at the top of Leuty and Queen Street East. Participation is free but food donations are encouraged. BONUS: There is still time to bid on the flags online so see the flags in person this weekend or check them out online at the link below. All money raised goes to Daily Bread.