How Can We Help You?
Community Food Share offers a number of services to help families in need year-round. Please contact us for more information on how to benefit from any of these services, or to help ensure they continue successfully.
- Healthy Choices Food Bank
- Student Nutrition Breakfast and Snack Program
- Tax Preparation Assistance
- Community Gardens
- Community Advocate
- Growing Futures
- North Dundas Christmas Fund
Nutritious food for those in need
Community Food Share distributes emergency food aid to the residents of the Dundas and Stormont Counties. On average, we serve approximately 165 households every month, representing 500 individuals.
In 2018, Community Food Share made a strategic decision to adopt a Healthy Choices model. Our team worked closely with the local health unit to develop a plan to ensure that in a single visit, clients leave with enough food to give their family five days worth of nutritional meals. This resulted in fewer pre-packaged items and more fresh selections, such as vegetables and milk.
We provide food using the "Client Choice Model," meaning clients have the opportunity to browse our shelves and select specific items based on their family size. This differs from the old
"Pre-made baskets" model because it not only ensures people have what they need, but we regularly save food as clients leave behind items they will not use.
The food is provided through generous donations from individuals, organizations and businesses in our community. Many corporate donors provide food that was not sold due to over-production, or that has slightly damaged packaging. When we receive monetary donations, we purchase specific food items that help balance the nutritional value of the food distributed to
those in need.
People who use food banks do so because they have no other choice. They are from all parts of the community, and from different backgrounds and circumstances. Each client is given a five-day supply of nutritionally-balanced food for each family member. Clients are allowed to visit no
more than once a month, and the vast majority use the food bank only a few times. Clients must choose which location they will visit so there is no overlapping service.
Access to Healthy Snacks During COVID-19
All families of school-age children in Dundas and Stormont counties can access healthy breakfast and snack foods, including oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, granola bars, as well as a variety of cheese, veggies, hummus and pitas.
This program is supported by Upper Canada Leger Centre for Education & Training (UCLCET) which administers and distributes funding for breakfast and snack programs in over 225 schools. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UCLCET is diverting funds to local food banks.
Any family with school-aged students may access this program at contacting Community Food Share. To maintain social distancing, an appointment is required to to arrange pick up. Please email coordinator@communityfoodshare or call one of our locations (leave a message) for more information.
Helping you optimize your return
Community Food Share's tax preparation services connects a trained volunteer with our clients to help them optimize their return.
Filing personal taxes can be a confusing and drawn-out process. There are also a number of rebates and benefits available that are not commonly-known, or require extra work to obtain.
In the past, our volunteers have helped families across Dundas County relieve tax stress and, in some cases, receive hundreds of dollars back from the government!
To supplement our food bank's Healthy Choices initiative, Community Food Share works with volunteers and local organizations to run community gardens in the summer months.
In 2018, Community Food Share and St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church worked together to bring a Community Garden to Winchester. Through donations and volunteers, including students from the local school, a bountiful garden was created that allowed our clients to enjoy fresh vegetables all summer.
Providing the support you need
The Community Advocate is a volunteer who assists Community Food Share clients by providing them with information, support, referrals, and resources.
The Community Advocate connects with clients looking for direction in solving a variety of problems, such as finding housing, paying bills, securing funding, or dealing with utility companies.
The advocate is not an agent of our clients, and does not make specific recommendations, but rather provides options and guides them through challenging situations.
Growing minds & giving back
Growing Futures is an educational program that helps students learn about growing food, while bringing awareness to hunger in the community.
Community Food Share works with sponsors to install a tower in classrooms that students use to grow a variety of herbs and vegetables.
Most recently, a class at Iroquois Public School implemented a Growing Futures tower. The students learned the science of growing, and the work required to make it successful. In the end, much of the output was donated back to Community Food Share, helping hundreds of people in the community.
Making sure everyone can enjoy the season
Community Food Share partners with local governments and charitable organizations to manage Snow Suit Funds and Christmas Hampers during a time of year when hundreds of people struggle to keep warm and enjoy the holiday season.