Graham is Caldwell Family Centre's assistant manager of food and nutrition. He is the first smiling face people see when they walk through the front door. Some are returning clients, who Graham greets with a hearty "how are you? Good to see you again!" but many others are coming to the food bank for the first time. It can be an experience that some people find shameful, but Graham's smile always puts people at ease. After all, he knows what it's like to need to use services at Caldwell Family Centre: he used to be a client.
When Graham needed housing and support, Caldwell Family Centre was known as a place where you could get some toast and coffee during the day and maybe some groceries when you needed them. But through Caldwell, Graham found so much more. First it was helping to unload the truck from the central Ottawa Food Bank. Then it was helping to stock the shelves. Before long, Graham was employed part-time helping to greet clients and enter their information. When the pandemic began, he started working here full-time. He knows that food insecurity isn't the problem - it's the symptom. "The illness is poverty"
Robyn is a food and nutrition worker in our food bank. She prepares the food bank each week to receive a literal tonne of food. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats are packed up next to non-perishable cans of beans, cereal boxes, and diapers. Boxes and boxes of items are crammed into the small amount of space Caldwell has to work with. This food is delivered to families in need who can't visit the food bank or it's given out with a smile to hungry individuals in our community. In the last year, our food bank has given out 20% more food, and it's still growing. Newcomers to Canada, including refugees from Afghanistan, Somalia, Burundi, or Ukraine, all need culturally-appropriate food, and Caldwell is happy to help.
With rising costs, more and more people are accessing our food bank. We can't sustain this pace without your support. See what Robyn says about her job and learn how she support hungry people in our community.