When I volunteered at the Oasis food bank, I had no idea how a food bank operates. On many occasions, I have put canned food in the donations bins. More like an automated process. I purchase the food. I drop the food. I go home. Wait a minute! Who receives the food? How does that person look like?
When the doors opened on a Wednesday morning at Oasis, I saw the faces of men, women and children who are counted among the 13% of Canadians who experience food insecurity and struggle to put enough food on the table. Real people. People who make tough choices every day to make ends meet. I watch them, as they received both fresh produce and canned foods and put the food in their baskets
At the food bank I realise that their dignity is upheld, because they get food to feed themselves and their loved ones. I also think of the many donors who made this moment possible, and wished there was a screen to see the man, woman, family that received your donation. And put a face to your next donation. Because people matter.
My time at Oasis has been an eye opener. It has made me realise to appreciate my lot in life. So, when I go to the grocery store, and tend to be picky, or complain, I remember the many faces of people in my community who have nothing to eat. I’m reminded that hunger is real, and it is experienced by real people.
[By Pauline a new intern / volunteer]