Volunteers are an incredibly important part of the team at Daily Bread Food Bank, and without them our work would not be possible. Especially now, as we continue to face challenges and respond to the impact that COVID-19 has had on our communities.
One volunteer who has stepped up and become a crucial part of our operations as we’ve shifted our work, is Jason.
Jason’s journey at Daily Bread began last August when he needed some help from the food bank and saw the need for volunteers. From that point on, he decided to use his time to help others facing food insecurity and poverty.
Having worked in the food and restaurant industry for over 25 years, Jason has an in-depth understanding of food handling and distribution which makes him incredibly invaluable to our team when he comes in to help in the New Toronto Street Food Bank on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Jason has also worked in our Information & Referrals team and understands how difficult it can be for someone to reach out and get help. He says that this is the most rewarding part of volunteering. “To make connections with people and be the compassionate face at the front is great. I understand their situation, and make sure that everyone feels comfortable, and that they know that they are going to receive food and the help that they need”
Jason’s lived experience has led to him to also become an advocate for those experiencing hunger and poverty.
“There’s shame about needing help. I waited until things got really bad to ask for help, I didn’t ask when I needed it, and I can imagine others that use the food bank feel the same.”
Recently, Jason has expanded his advocacy work outside the walls of Daily Bread Food Bank, having been selected to be a member of the Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG). As part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Office with the City of Toronto, Jason and a team of individuals will meet to discuss the poverty reduction action plan, and advocate for programs surrounding poverty reduction.
We are so grateful for not only all the work that Jason does for us, but for all of his hard work on behalf of those in our communities experiencing food insecurity and poverty. Jason is a constant example of how much stronger we are together, and we are so glad that he chose us as a way to give back to his community.