Volunteers stand behind several tables aligned with food containers. Each container has a different assortment of foods ranging from fresh vegetables and fruits, to dairy and meat products. There’s food for pets and hygiene products. Today is Wednesday, and it’s food bank day at the Oasis Dufferin Community Centre.
At 9:30 a.m., the doors to the Centre open. Members of the community trickle in one by one with a bag, a box or a cart in hand. The tables with their assortments beckon them.
At the table, they pick up the items. A young man picks up items for himself. He is a new immigrant and is still searching for work. “Milk!” Exclaims a lady as she peeks into the container. “This is exactly what I need for my family. Thank, thank you,” she beams with a smile as she puts the milk into her cart. “Do you have dog food?” asks a senior. He receives a package for his dog. “Gracias, gracias, my dog will be happy too,” he says as he puts his items into a cart.
At the table, new comers are welcomed.
At the table, everyone is fed; singles, families and pets.
At the table, the wider community participates; various partners who provide the food and other products.
At the table, relationships are established; between volunteers, community members and staff.
At the table, memories are shared.
At the table, gratitude is expressed.
At the table, all nations are represented.
At the table, you are not alone; you are part of a community.
[By Pauline, a new intern / volunteer]