The Women & Children's Shelter of Barrie is one of the most-needed community outreach programs I can think of right now. The way the Coronavirus has impacted us all throughout the last 12 months have been devastating. On top of the social isolation, for many, there's either been a complete loss of income or a significant decrease. Furthermore, many of the people who're losing their jobs right now have a whole ton of job experience in only the "dying" industries. This is making it even harder for them to find work again.
In an article published by BBC earlier this month, it discusses how the pandemic is causing spikes in break-ups and divorces. Low-income families have been one of the hardest-hit socio-economic classes and when there's no money in the home or a significant loss of income, tension builds and sometimes physical abuse happens. What are these women supposed to do when they're in these situations? Quite often, their local women's shelter is their only option.
Christmas Food Drive for Single Moms
I wanted to do a food drive because I thought it could give a few more women, one more reason not to go back into another abusive relationship this Christmas. I only got the idea to do the food drive a couple of weeks before I did it, so I've come up with a lot of great ideas to make it even better for next year.
In this food drive, I was able to create six food orders; two were larger; for single moms with at least three children. Included in each order were: Royal Gala apples, Bartlett pears, Navel oranges, one pineapple, two bell peppers, one cucumber, garlic, red onion, mini potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery sticks, a gorgeous oven roast ranging between 2.5-2.8kg, 6-18 rolls of Costco toilet paper, one loaf of white bread, six eggs, 1 4L bag 2% white milk, tinfoil, large freezer bags and a roll of large garbage bags.
Thanks to the assistance of Connexus Community Church, I was provided with access to their kitchen so I could organize the food into individual orders and get them prepped for delivery. And with the help of the women's shelter, I was able to give these food packages to families who really needed them.
In each order, I also included a letter I wrote to the women explaining why I did the drive. My long-term goal is to provide single moms with either receive zero or very little child support with access to affordable and good-looking fresh food that will be delivered on a weekly basis.
Food Drive Highlights
I wanted to give a special thank you to Avail Cannabis here in Barrie for allowing me to showcase several of the food drive's donated Christmas planters in their patient waiting area, as well as purchasing one of the planters as well!
I also wanted to mention the drive's biggest financial contributor, Dana Dorion of Dorion Property Maintenance & Landscaping in Midland. Dana donated the sales of many of his Christmas trees to the drive throughout the second-last week before Christmas and his generous support has had a huge impact on the number of women receiving this food.
Finally, I wanted to thank everyone for their help and support in making this food drive happen. With the help of Rock 95 and KoolFM, I was able to get the word out more and I saw direct sales on the website immediately after their announcers mentioned the drive. I can't wait until next year so I can do this again - but twice a big.