Whether it’s the loss of a job, the breakup of a marriage or a work limiting illness, no one is immune to the stressors that can lead to financial hardship. It’s during those tough times that the access to fresh, nutritious food provided by food banks can serve as a buoy, helping ensure no one goes hungry during times of hardship.
When Maham and her parents first immigrated to Canada from Pakistan over ten years ago, they found support through community food banks. By providing them with access to food and referral services, Maham’s family was able to focus on establishing a new life without having to worry about where their next meal would come from.
“The food bank helped us get established in Canada,” says Maham. My family now has enough for themselves; they own a house and have a mortgage. They could not have got there without the help they received from the food bank.”
Maham got married here in Canada, but ten years later, her marriage ended abruptly and she found herself alone, with no safety net. Living on the inadequate income provided by Ontario Works, she knew she would once again have to turn to food banks for support. Although her family had accessed food banks all those years ago, she admits the prospect of going on her own was intimidating. “It wasn’t easy for me in the beginning. When you live on social support, you cannot afford to buy groceries, so that was my motivation to visit a food bank.”
That fear and anticipation Maham felt quickly subsided after her first visit to her local food bank. The staff and volunteers made her feel welcome and provided barrier-free access to the food she needed.
Maham was also impressed with the selection of products provided. “They offered a lot of things like dairy, meat, and lentils. I once got a fancy Japanese spice mix I used to make fish – it was so delicious. They even have sanitary napkins which saves me a lot of money.”
Since Maham began accessing food banks, she has started creating a more stable life for herself bit by bit. “I’ve taken on odd jobs, like delivering for Uber eats and working at McDonalds. I now work from home as a call representative. “It’s slowly getting better for me and hopefully soon I won’t need to rely on food banks.”
Help make a difference in the lives of people like Maham by making a donation today. Every dollar donated provides one nutritious meal, for someone facing hunger. Thank you for your support.