Fresh Food Weekly is a new food charity based in Barrie, Ontario that delivers fresh produce and bread items to low-income families on a weekly basis. By connecting with local farmers and food businesses to collect donated food, Fresh Food Weekly seeks to improve food security within the City of Barrie by creating a reliable avenue to get fresh food into the homes of people who really need it.
The ripple effects of the pandemic are impacting everyone - but it's hitting the most vulnerable in our community the hardest. There is an unprecedented need to help those who are struggling to eat on a daily basis and the goal of Fresh Food Weekly is to alleviate this struggle to some degree. Whether they're a single mom working three jobs, have a disability and literally can't work, or are elderly and live alone and have no one to look after them, Fresh Food Weekly improves food security by breaking down every single barrier preventing these people from eating three meals a day.
Food prices have skyrocketed yet wages increased by 75 cents an hour. How on earth does that make sense? Before the pandemic, Sobeys used to ship rice from Thailand to Vancouver for $4,000. Now it costs $20,000 and it’s because there's no law capping the price that shipping companies can charge us.
Today the cost of living requires people to earn at least $25 an hour for a bare minimum of 40 hours a week, and because it's legal for minimum wage to be less than this, people are literally starving. They don't go around saying it because it's shameful. And people who do make enough to eat literally sit and point fingers blaming them for being lazy... even though they're the hardest working in the room. Minimum wage needs to be increased to $25 an hour and re-named to 'eating wage' because this is the amount required to eat enough to maintain organ function. Employers need to know that when they're paying their staff anything less, they're going hungry. When people can't maintain organ function, that's when even the strongest see their mental health take a steep decline. That's when people start thinking about suicide - people who never would have thought this could happen to them, start to think about it all the time.
Statement of Intent from the Founder, Leah Dyck:
I can't understand why so many people are okay with watching their neighbours starve. It's one thing if you don't know what's going on. But if you work for public housing or any kind of disability support program, you know even more than I do that these people are starving. We live in a world where people are literally working all the time, for years, and still can't get their basic human needs met. And the ones that do, call them lazy while they literally sit all day long, take multi-week, fully-paid vacations every summer and collect a +$100,000 salary. I am so disgusted by this that I literally can't "witness abuse" and do nothing about it.
99 percent of the people who make enough to eat didn't achieve this because they're smarter or more talented. They "achieved" it because they stumbled upon the opportunity to earn a living wage. They fail to realize they're not special, and anyone else in their position would have done the exact same thing: showed up for work.
Summer 2021 Pilot Program Recipients
Between June 3, 2021, and Sept. 26, 2021, Fresh Food Weekly received nearly 42,000 pounds of free, fresh food and it all came from only 20 donors. This just goes to show how much food waste each city really has. After only four months, Fresh Food Weekly volunteers were delivering this food to the front doorsteps of 267 low-income families each and every week. I have found a way to feed starving people FOR FREE and I won't stop fighting to get Fresh Food Weekly up and running again because it is the HUMANE thing to do.
The Reason Why People Can't Eat
There is an Obvious Solution...
FRESH FOOD WEEKLY
Many of you know me and some of you don’t. My name is Leah Dyck and throughout the summer of 2021, I provided a free fresh food delivery service to low-income families living in Barrie, Ontario.
To relieve poverty by operating a free food delivery service to the residences of local, low-income families.
To relieve poverty by breaking down every single barrier preventing low-income families from receiving enough food to eat three meals a day.
NEW PURPOSE: To educate the current decision-makers on the reality their decisions are having on those not born into privilege.
Here is an interview Leah Dyck did with CBC Radio on the morning of October 7, 2021. She discusses what Fresh Food Weekly is and how it was worked throughout the summer, and why it is no longer operating.
Here's a news clip produced by CTV News Barrie to promote the Easter dinner meal box delivery program. Fresh Food Weekly partnered with Stone Horse Farm and Thorganic Farms in Thornton to create 50 Easter dinner meal boxes that were purchased by members of the community and delivered to low-income families in Barrie.
Our Community is Desperate for Help
Did you know that when I first started delivering free food to the residents of 380 Duckworth Street, which is a public housing building here in Barrie, the building's manager at the time, Karen, called me up and demanded that I stop? I told her I would not stop. Someone with my personality type is necessary to make sure Fresh Food Weekly is pushed into fruition. For some reason, many of the people 'in charge' of helping the poor are actually going out of their way to ensure they don't receive any help. And I realize that you probably don't believe me because it sounds insane, but why else would this woman call me up and demand that I stop giving free vegetables to starving people? Also, the Barrie Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation (BMNPHC) is the organization that was letting me use their empty community room throughout the summer of 2021 (this is the organization Karen worked for). But then I was informed by the BMNPHC that they "needed it". Since the Fresh Food Weekly program shut down on Sept. 26, 2021, this community room has remained unused and completely empty. Why would they do this? Because they think these poor people are getting a big enough handout as it is. They think they're lazy, poor, stupid people who deserve to be hungry. That's why they're treated SOOO badly.
If you want to help the poor, you're going to quickly realize you're facing a massive uphill battle. This is because so many people think the poor are lazy and could easily go get a job if they really wanted to eat. They fail to realize that working a low-paying job will NEVER be enough for anyone to eat three meals a day, let alone a single mother and her dependents. $15/hour x eight hours/day x four does not = rent and three meals a day. It usually doesn't even equal rent. These people can't afford food, Netflix, certainly not a shit-box car - and what they can afford to rent is a little shit hole. And this is the way of life for people who are working ALL THE TIME! This is slavery and it's the thing that infuriates me the most of all the injustices that are happening right in front of me. Can you imagine what it feels like to know that every day will be worse than the last? Imagine how this would feel every single day of your life. Never having anything to look forward to, and when you look back at your own life, you see a clear pattern of a downhill spiral. At this point, I can't imagine why someone wouldn't commit suicide. I actually think we're going to have a suicide crisis in the next few years if something isn't done to permanently alleviate SOME misery in these people's lives. We need to START meeting these people's needs and STOP just talking about it.
After watching the TV commercials for 'The Maid', I realized I couldn't watch the show because even the commercials made me ball my eyes out... because this show portrays pure truth and reality for thousands of people. Their lives are so awful and so miserable and its because the people currently in charge actually believe these people are worthless. They actually see pigs as having more value.