Congratulations North Enders on the TERRIFIC response to the Food Drive on Dec. 12.  Together we are amazing! We delivered many, many shopping bags of food… I didn’t count them, but multiple car-trips were made to deliver the food!  Welcome Inn reports that over 1500 lbs / 680 kg of food were donated!

On a fairly short notice, 23 residents volunteered to have drop-off sites for the Food Drive so we had locations from Ferguson to Bay and from Strachan to Burlington! Thank you! Thanks also go to Aly for helping make the signs that were posted on the lawns and to Chris and Judy for donating their garage for storage of the food.  NENa started a social media blitz so advertising was done largely through Facebook and Twitter.

Then the day of the Food Drive it rained! Oh no!  Some people had bins on their porches out of the rain, and others used bins with lids.  But we were afraid we wouldn’t do well.  Some locations left their bins out another day.  But donations arrived by bag and box! Then many people helped get the food TO Welcome Inn.  Amazing!  It was a collective effort and MANY people deserve thanks!

During this time of stress and uncertainty, people are coping with job loss and lay-offs and decrease in income, along with high rent. People are struggling who have never been in need before. Welcome Inn told me that people are using the food bank for the first time.  Often, because of lack of affordable or subsidized housing, rent is extremely expensive. (The average 1-bedroom apartment is over $1400 and a 2-bedroom apartment is over $2000.  (That is more than I paid for a mortgage 15 years ago!)  Because of high rent, and little or no rent relief, families are sometimes forced to use their food budget to pay the rent.

Our residents generously contributed everything from baby food to personal care items like toothbrushes and soap, and a wide variety of food!  This will make a big difference to helping out Welcome Inn, only one of the food banks in Hamilton.

Welcome Inn reports that “since the pandemic, 30% of families who have accessed a food bank in Hamilton are families who have never had to do so in the past. The challenges facing our community are diverse, and this is especially true during the holidays when budgets are stretched thin. The 1,500 lbs of food collected in support of neighbours, acquaintances, and community members that we have yet to meet will go a long way this holiday season.

Thanks again from us and from our community – how lucky we are to be a part of the North End.”

HUGE Thank you to everyone!  You should feel North End Pride!  You are AMAZING!

Sheri Selway