Dundas Community Food Drive example of community collaboration

News Sep 13, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

The Dundas Salvation Army Community and Family Services’ food bank, and its partners, continue to set the standard for innovation and collaboration as they prepare for the annual fall Dundas Community Food Drive.

Approximately 200 volunteers will head out around 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 on carefully planned routes provided by Dundas Community Services (DCS).

Volunteers will pick up donations of non-perishable, non-expired food, and cash, from homes across Dundas between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Residents can leave a plastic bag with their donations at their front door for 9 a.m. on Sept. 28.

Dundas Salvation Army program manager Karen Sobierajski and Hamilton program director Shirley Molloy said key to the food drive’s success is getting volunteer drivers out on their assigned routes — with kits prepared by DCS — and back with donations in a reasonable time. Some drivers may have to take on additional routes and that can prolong the effort, or result in missed routes.

Recent changes to the food bank itself may help the food drive.

Sobierajski said the facility was renovated and redesigned with the goal of giving food bank members more opportunity for choice — like shopping, rather than having food selected by a staff member or volunteer and handed to them. The changes also create better flow through the space as well.

“It should be a smoother process for us,” Sobierajski said, of the upcoming food drive.

Molloy, former Dundas Community and Family Services manager, said the new food bank procedure came to Canada relatively recently and has been used by Hamilton’s Good Shepherd Centre for a few years. She said Dundas’s food bank changes are a Salvation Army pilot project and will likely be applied at the central Hamilton location early next year.

“It’s a big step forward,” said staff member Scott Gross.

There is a new, larger waiting area, including a free library, next to Gross’s intake office. Food bank members then enter the new main area with a list of items they can choose from, and are checked out by a volunteer or staff member.

Sobierajski and Molloy agreed the idea of "shopping" for themselves provides people with a greater sense of dignity.

Improving dignity, collaboration and additional programs are among innovations recommended in a 2016 report by the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, which found food banks are changing.

“They are no longer just serving emergency food needs, but dealing with chronic food insecurity,” the report states.

It suggests food banks have not historically worked to address systemic causes of food insecurity, and need to create a more dignified and welcoming process, increasing choice and nutrition and additional programming and partnerships.

Collaboration and programming have been strengths of the local Salvation Army Community and Family Services, and its food bank, for decades. It continues to add and improve.

“It’s community-building,” Sobierajski said. “We don’t put ourselves in silos. We work to meet each other’s needs.”

Metro grocery store is providing buggies to help volunteers transfer donations from cars and trucks through the John Street doors into the food bank storage area.

“It’s a really good collaboration,” Molloy said of the food drive. “It’s a community event. Everyone pitches in.”

DCS provides a roster of volunteers, and the carefully planned food drive routes in individualized “kits” for drivers and canvassers. They even include "thank you" and "sorry we missed you" notes for volunteers to leave at homes.

Donations tend to come in to the food bank for several days afterward from people who were missed, and organizers welcome that.

Dundas Community Services also provides dozens of other programs and support services to the community — many of which help address some of the core issues that create food insecurity.

Salvation Army Dundas Community and Family Services, in addition to the food bank itself, offers a Baby Song early childhood education program on Monday and Tuesday mornings.

The support group “The Verge” meets on Wednesday afternoons after being relocated to the more accessible Dundas location from downtown Hamilton.

Seniors programming aimed at reducing isolation and increasing social interaction includes Café 55 every Thursday, and a seniors drop-in every third Thursday.

Cash donations are always welcome, allowing the food bank to buy its own food and get more value for the money.

For more information, contact Dundas Community Services at 905-627-5461 or Salvation Army Dundas at 905-627-0572.

Dundas Community Food Drive example of community collaboration

Donations to be picked up morning of Saturday, Sept. 28

News Sep 13, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

The Dundas Salvation Army Community and Family Services’ food bank, and its partners, continue to set the standard for innovation and collaboration as they prepare for the annual fall Dundas Community Food Drive.

Approximately 200 volunteers will head out around 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 on carefully planned routes provided by Dundas Community Services (DCS).

Volunteers will pick up donations of non-perishable, non-expired food, and cash, from homes across Dundas between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Residents can leave a plastic bag with their donations at their front door for 9 a.m. on Sept. 28.

Dundas Salvation Army program manager Karen Sobierajski and Hamilton program director Shirley Molloy said key to the food drive’s success is getting volunteer drivers out on their assigned routes — with kits prepared by DCS — and back with donations in a reasonable time. Some drivers may have to take on additional routes and that can prolong the effort, or result in missed routes.

“It’s community building, We don’t put ourselves in silos. We work to meet each other’s needs.” — Karen Sobierajski

Recent changes to the food bank itself may help the food drive.

Sobierajski said the facility was renovated and redesigned with the goal of giving food bank members more opportunity for choice — like shopping, rather than having food selected by a staff member or volunteer and handed to them. The changes also create better flow through the space as well.

“It should be a smoother process for us,” Sobierajski said, of the upcoming food drive.

Molloy, former Dundas Community and Family Services manager, said the new food bank procedure came to Canada relatively recently and has been used by Hamilton’s Good Shepherd Centre for a few years. She said Dundas’s food bank changes are a Salvation Army pilot project and will likely be applied at the central Hamilton location early next year.

“It’s a big step forward,” said staff member Scott Gross.

There is a new, larger waiting area, including a free library, next to Gross’s intake office. Food bank members then enter the new main area with a list of items they can choose from, and are checked out by a volunteer or staff member.

Sobierajski and Molloy agreed the idea of "shopping" for themselves provides people with a greater sense of dignity.

Improving dignity, collaboration and additional programs are among innovations recommended in a 2016 report by the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, which found food banks are changing.

“They are no longer just serving emergency food needs, but dealing with chronic food insecurity,” the report states.

It suggests food banks have not historically worked to address systemic causes of food insecurity, and need to create a more dignified and welcoming process, increasing choice and nutrition and additional programming and partnerships.

Collaboration and programming have been strengths of the local Salvation Army Community and Family Services, and its food bank, for decades. It continues to add and improve.

“It’s community-building,” Sobierajski said. “We don’t put ourselves in silos. We work to meet each other’s needs.”

Metro grocery store is providing buggies to help volunteers transfer donations from cars and trucks through the John Street doors into the food bank storage area.

“It’s a really good collaboration,” Molloy said of the food drive. “It’s a community event. Everyone pitches in.”

DCS provides a roster of volunteers, and the carefully planned food drive routes in individualized “kits” for drivers and canvassers. They even include "thank you" and "sorry we missed you" notes for volunteers to leave at homes.

Donations tend to come in to the food bank for several days afterward from people who were missed, and organizers welcome that.

Dundas Community Services also provides dozens of other programs and support services to the community — many of which help address some of the core issues that create food insecurity.

Salvation Army Dundas Community and Family Services, in addition to the food bank itself, offers a Baby Song early childhood education program on Monday and Tuesday mornings.

The support group “The Verge” meets on Wednesday afternoons after being relocated to the more accessible Dundas location from downtown Hamilton.

Seniors programming aimed at reducing isolation and increasing social interaction includes Café 55 every Thursday, and a seniors drop-in every third Thursday.

Cash donations are always welcome, allowing the food bank to buy its own food and get more value for the money.

For more information, contact Dundas Community Services at 905-627-5461 or Salvation Army Dundas at 905-627-0572.

Dundas Community Food Drive example of community collaboration

Donations to be picked up morning of Saturday, Sept. 28

News Sep 13, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

The Dundas Salvation Army Community and Family Services’ food bank, and its partners, continue to set the standard for innovation and collaboration as they prepare for the annual fall Dundas Community Food Drive.

Approximately 200 volunteers will head out around 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 on carefully planned routes provided by Dundas Community Services (DCS).

Volunteers will pick up donations of non-perishable, non-expired food, and cash, from homes across Dundas between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Residents can leave a plastic bag with their donations at their front door for 9 a.m. on Sept. 28.

Dundas Salvation Army program manager Karen Sobierajski and Hamilton program director Shirley Molloy said key to the food drive’s success is getting volunteer drivers out on their assigned routes — with kits prepared by DCS — and back with donations in a reasonable time. Some drivers may have to take on additional routes and that can prolong the effort, or result in missed routes.

“It’s community building, We don’t put ourselves in silos. We work to meet each other’s needs.” — Karen Sobierajski

Recent changes to the food bank itself may help the food drive.

Sobierajski said the facility was renovated and redesigned with the goal of giving food bank members more opportunity for choice — like shopping, rather than having food selected by a staff member or volunteer and handed to them. The changes also create better flow through the space as well.

“It should be a smoother process for us,” Sobierajski said, of the upcoming food drive.

Molloy, former Dundas Community and Family Services manager, said the new food bank procedure came to Canada relatively recently and has been used by Hamilton’s Good Shepherd Centre for a few years. She said Dundas’s food bank changes are a Salvation Army pilot project and will likely be applied at the central Hamilton location early next year.

“It’s a big step forward,” said staff member Scott Gross.

There is a new, larger waiting area, including a free library, next to Gross’s intake office. Food bank members then enter the new main area with a list of items they can choose from, and are checked out by a volunteer or staff member.

Sobierajski and Molloy agreed the idea of "shopping" for themselves provides people with a greater sense of dignity.

Improving dignity, collaboration and additional programs are among innovations recommended in a 2016 report by the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, which found food banks are changing.

“They are no longer just serving emergency food needs, but dealing with chronic food insecurity,” the report states.

It suggests food banks have not historically worked to address systemic causes of food insecurity, and need to create a more dignified and welcoming process, increasing choice and nutrition and additional programming and partnerships.

Collaboration and programming have been strengths of the local Salvation Army Community and Family Services, and its food bank, for decades. It continues to add and improve.

“It’s community-building,” Sobierajski said. “We don’t put ourselves in silos. We work to meet each other’s needs.”

Metro grocery store is providing buggies to help volunteers transfer donations from cars and trucks through the John Street doors into the food bank storage area.

“It’s a really good collaboration,” Molloy said of the food drive. “It’s a community event. Everyone pitches in.”

DCS provides a roster of volunteers, and the carefully planned food drive routes in individualized “kits” for drivers and canvassers. They even include "thank you" and "sorry we missed you" notes for volunteers to leave at homes.

Donations tend to come in to the food bank for several days afterward from people who were missed, and organizers welcome that.

Dundas Community Services also provides dozens of other programs and support services to the community — many of which help address some of the core issues that create food insecurity.

Salvation Army Dundas Community and Family Services, in addition to the food bank itself, offers a Baby Song early childhood education program on Monday and Tuesday mornings.

The support group “The Verge” meets on Wednesday afternoons after being relocated to the more accessible Dundas location from downtown Hamilton.

Seniors programming aimed at reducing isolation and increasing social interaction includes Café 55 every Thursday, and a seniors drop-in every third Thursday.

Cash donations are always welcome, allowing the food bank to buy its own food and get more value for the money.

For more information, contact Dundas Community Services at 905-627-5461 or Salvation Army Dundas at 905-627-0572.