Neighbours Helping Neighbours
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The Orangeville Food Bank (OFB) was founded in 1992 and some founders are still part of the volunteering team today. The OFB has 85+ regular volunteers and many more during the holidays with church and community service groups and sports teams. With the growing need in the community, we hired an Executive Director four years ago and recently hired a Food Manager, so that we could be open to clients more often and develop more community partnerships.
Our Shopping Model allows clients to shop for their own grocery items, choosing foods they know their family will consume. This in turn provides greater dignity in their visit, leads to less waste and reduces the stigma associated with receiving an unknown food ‘hamper’.
We typically see between 650-700 people each month. Of that 37% are children and women make up another 30% of those served. largest increase we have seen is seniors needing to access food. Since 2011 we have seen over a 1000% increase in the number of seniors needing support. In our last year we took in 193,000 pounds in community donations, local grocery bin collections and food drives as well as from our hub in Waterloo.
Orangeville’s first discussions on creating a food bank started as far back as November 8, 1991 at the Mill Street Mall in the Mall Management Office. A group of concerned citizens recognized the need to help the hungry. When the Orangeville Food Bank (OFB) opened its doors on May 23, 1992 its main focus was emergency food relief for members of the community who were in need of assistance due to loss of income, personal injury or other crisis.
In November of 1991 our space to house the food bank was donated. We only paid the maintenance, utilities and taxes. In 1997 the building was purchased and we started paying rent at $558.22 a month. That warehouse unit on Centennial Rd was 3,600 square feet. Approximately 2,500 of this space was utilized for the warehouse stock and the remaining space was used for office, waiting room and washrooms. We paid approximately $4000 a month (rent, utilities, and insurance). Back in 1992 we started out with 160 orders. Today we are filling 1,776 orders over a year.
Do You Know About Food Insecurity?
Everyday we see how hunger affects men, women and children and how it can become an obstacle to success. Life is challenging enough, imagine facing it on an empty stomach or with the added stress of wondering how you are going to put your next meal on the table. We are here to help.
Our Clients Are…
People “in transition” including:
- those experiencing job loss or reduction in work hours
- those experiencing a recent family breakdown
- those with unexpected emergencies
- Single parents
- The working poor
- Residents on income support
- Seniors with low pension income
- People with physical injuries or disabilities
- People with mental illness
I only used the foodbank twice and never intended to depend on it as a regular thing. It was a serious test of my self-esteem. I learned wonderful lessons in humility, empathy and gratitude.
I have had a very good experience
with the Orangeville Food Bank,
who has just started a pilot program
in my building, because the number
of seniors were increasing at the
food bank. The response has been
phenomenal. People line up, and are
excited to see fresh pears, grapes,
and frozen dinners that were
prepared by the local high school.
They work hard to accommodate
the seniors and their special diets.
Mission & Values
Mission, Vision and Values statements are often overlooked in an organization as the day to day trials and tribulations take over the management of scarce resources. At the Orangeville Food Bank, however, we do our best to live and breathe each of these statements every day. These are our compass points.