Food

Tree of Plenty - Donation Dollars Doubled!

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TREE OF PLENTY

We kicked off the 24th Annual Tree of Plenty campaign on Wednesday Nov. 20 (not so) bright and early with our good friends from CTV. They joined us at the Food Bank for four live hits on their morning show, always good fun!

The Tree of Plenty Campaign is our organization’s largest fundraiser and generates about a third of our annual operating budget.  With help from generous community champions we hope to raise $400,000 AND 400,000 pounds of food to help families right here in Saskatoon.

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Tree of Plenty Icon-01

 - Donate Online -

YOUR  DOLLARS  DOUBLED

Later that morning we held a press conference where Denita Stann PotashCorp VP Investor/Public Relations announced a $1 million matching gift campaign for Saskatchewan Food Banks. Between now and Jan. 16th 2015, every time you donate funds, whether it's directly to us or by attending an event like Huron Carole, every dollar will be doubled!

- Donate Here -

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PressConference

Contributing Has Never Been Easier

Simply click hereto make a personal donation online or click here to make a donation in someone’s name as the perfect holiday gift. You can also text givebackyxe to 20222 where you will be asked to choose $5 $10 $20 or $25 *

* (the carriers that participate are nationwide and include: Bell Mobility, MTS Mobility, Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility, Videotron, and WIND Mobile and all other branches under these carriers-Fido, Koodo, etc. Regular data rates may apply.)

DO SOMETHING AMAZING

Holiday Season 2014

Amazing things happen every day at the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre.  Our Do Something Amazing movement celebrates the best in all of us.  Over the 2014 holiday season we profile amazing people and events in our community with hopes of inspiring a snow ball effect.

Giving Tuesday

Dec. 2, 2014

The Christmas Pajama Drive

Dec. 7, 2014

 

Comfort & Joy

December 2014

 

 Pianoathon - Bassment

Dec. 12, 2014

 

 Huron Carole

Dec.17, 2014

An enchanting musical re-enactment of the very first Huron Carole concert that took place in 1987.  Alongside concert series founder Tom Jackson,  guest artists in both the musical (Act 1) and special concert (Act 2) include Don Amero, Shannon Gaye, Beverley Mahood and One More Girl.

 

Stuff the Bus

Dec.18, 2014

 

Harvest Time!

   

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Harvest time is here at the Garden Patch!

Volunteers have been busy helping with the harvest at the Garden Patch the last few weeks. Please join us on Saturday August 24th for a Group Volunteer Day. Come lend a hand at the Garden, or come to visit and look around. Drop in between 7AM-1PM. No need to RSVP. Families Welcome!

Please contact Brit.m@saskatoonfoodbank.org with any questions. Please bring water, and sun protection!

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Weedin' Wednesday continues until the end of September. Join us at the Garden every Wednesday between 4PM - 8PM. Drop by and lend a hand or come say hi!

No need to RSVP. Drop in. Families Welcome!

Where is the Garden Patch?

The Garden Patch is located on the 900 block of 3rd Ave N.

Check HERE for a map.

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Saskatoon Blades Partner with Saskatoon Food Bank

The Saskatoon Blades have teamed up with the Saskatoon Food Bank to bring some extra cheer to those in need this holiday season. For the Blades 5 home games during the month of December, they are asking that fans bring out non-perishable food items to donate to the Saskatoon Food Bank.  With your donation you will not only be helping those who need it most, but you will also be entered to win a fantastic prize!

For every item of food you bring to donate, you will receive an entry form for a draw to win a pair of leather Saskatoon Blades recliners courtesy of Furniture World!

Cash donations will also be accepted, with all funds going to the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre.

In case you forget to bring your non-perishable food items, pre-made baskets will also be on hand at the Credit Union Centre for purchase and donation to the Food Bank during our December games.

The Saskatoon Blades and the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre would also like to take the time to thank Windsor Plywood for their generosity.  For each Blades home goal scored during the month of December, Windsor Plywood will be donating $100 to the Saskatoon Food Bank.

A Saskatoon Food Bank Story...

If you believe the weather reports it’s -11 degrees Celsius outside tonight. For one woman waiting in the dark and freezing and rain outside the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre, it feels a lot colder. By the time I see Anne (name changed for privacy reasons) she has been waiting in the cold for just under an hour.  I could tell from the assortment of groceries carefully arranged on her motorized scooter that she had recently visited the food bank.  I watched her from inside of my car, where I sat waiting for the engine to warm so I could drive away from a long day of work at the food bank.  As I watched the woman she appeared to be nodding off to sleep, although it was hard to see through the heavy frozen rain falling.

I have to be honest. As I sat there watching her from inside my still-cold car there was a part of me that wanted to drive away.  I was already late to pick up my kids from daycare, dinner needed to be made and I desperately wanted to get to my cozy little home before the weather worsened. A text message from a dear friend popped up on my phone.  Drive safe, it read.  I have so much support, I thought.  Of course I couldn’t just drive away.

I approached and called out to the woman, “Are you okay?”  She told me she was waiting for her bus and that it was very late.  I invited her to wait in my car while I dialed the number for the wheelchair accessible bus service.  As she navigated through the snow and into the front seat of my car I peered through her broken glasses and into her eyes.  It was a very familiar look.

It was the same look I had seen just an hour earlier inside of the food bank office.  We were about to lock the doors for the day when a man entered, his glasses also frosted over from the cold.  “Is this where you go if you’re starving,” he asked.  That familiar look in his eyes is one that I will never get accustomed to.  It’s hard to describe, a mixture of desperation, anxiety and humility.  My coworkers smiled warmly, “Yes, we can help”, they told him.

As we helped him pack his backpack with supplies you could sense his relief.  He thanked us for our help and told us his story.  He had badly broken his elbow and was unable to work while he waited for surgery.  A paperwork error meant his disability assistance payments were delayed, and he had been living for some time without any income.  He’ll be okay, I thought at the time.  His elbow will heal and he’ll be able to work again. He’ll soon be back on his feet.

It may not be the same for Anne.  As a senior with a disability, her options are very limited.  While we chatted in the car she told me how excited she was to get bananas in her food basket that day.  “I can’t eat gluten,” she said.  “Fruit in the winter is such a treat.”  I told Anne about the gluten-free food basket program the food bank would soon be offering and how it was started by a concerned community member.  She was excited to hear about it, but it left me feeling unsettled.  This woman shouldn’t have to rely on the food bank.  It’s not fair that vulnerable people in our community should be forced to turn to charity just to have their basic needs met.

When I finally made contact with the bus service they told me the busses were running late due to the extreme weather.  The person on the phone was very nice, and apologized for the trouble.  But Anne wasn’t upset. “What can you do?” she said.  “They’re doing their best”.  I’m not sure I would have been so understanding.

It would be another 50 minutes that we waited together for the bus.  Inside the car we chatted about our holiday plans and listened to the sound of the car engine humming and ice pellets hitting the windshield.  Anne thanked me over and over and told me she could wait on her own. “I don’t want to be a bother”, she said.  The truth is she wasn’t  a bother at all.  She was amazing.  Her quiet strength, resiliency and underlying optimism left me feeling humbled and inspired.  After all, my life is so easy.  I have a whole network of people to turn to when I need help.  I could order pizza for dinner.  And just one quick call to my husband and he set off to pick up the kids from daycare...because we have two cars.

By the time the bus pulled up (nearly two hours after Anne started waiting) two more people had approached to ask if we needed help, one a neighbouring business owner who saw the abandoned scooter and the other a person I knew from the food bank’s learning centre programs.  The bus driver helped Anne navigate her scooter onto the bus and apologized over and over for being so late.  She seemed to really care about her.

When we said goodbye Anne threw her arms around me to give me a giant hug.  “What would I have done without you?” she smiled.

As I drove away I thought about Anne, the man with the broken elbow, and all the people I met at work that day, some who came to use the food bank, and others who came to donate to the food bank.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude.  I see amazing things every day.  People who refuse to let their struggles define them.  They are full of strength and hope in spite of their difficulties.  And people who truly care.  They care enough to help complete strangers, without ever seeing the tremendous impact of their kindness.

I’ve worked for over six years at the food bank.  We receive over twelve thousand requests for food every month.  That’s twelve thousand stories of families brave enough seek out support, and twelve thousand times our community has responded.

When I arrive at home I am greeted with more hugs and two little voices calling “Mommy!”  I hold my children, but like so many other nights it feels more like they are holding me.

Carson's Story

When we met Carson Joyes, we knew right away by the sparkle in his eye that he had a great story to tell. When we asked Carson and his Dad what brought them to the food bank that day we learned about the very special effort Carson and his friend Grayson had made to bring their food donation to the food bank.  We are pleased to share Carson and Grayson's story below as the first of our Do Something Amazing project...

It all began when Brian Joyes came for a tour of the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre. When he came home later that day, Brian shared what he had learned with his family, including his nine year old son Carson. Touched by what he had learned from his Dad, Carson then went to school and asked his friends if they would be interested in collecting food instead of candy with him on Halloween night. Carson's friend Grayson Wyatt stepped up to help right away and Carson and Grayson took their idea home and discussed it with their parents. Their parents all agreed it was a good idea for the boys to pursue and with their parent's consent, the boys collected their groceries throughout the Village of Clavet, receiving great support from their community.

It is clear that our new friend Carson really cares about people, because this was already his second fundraiser. Carson raised $180.20 for Breast Cancer research earlier in the fall by selling garden produce from his family's garden to people in his community.

At only nine years old, Carson and Grayson are already making a difference. They are currently working on ideas for their next fundraiser.  We think that's AMAZING!