You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
– Khalil Gibran
On September 1st 2010, the Seva Food Bank opened its doors to the community for the first time and we had no idea what to expect.
The food bank was born out of what you could call an audaciously ambitious moment. A group of young Sikh-Canadian professionals decided that we want to make a long-term sustainable difference in our wider Canadian community. We wanted to directly support local families in their moment of need. We wanted to provide a platform for high-potential youth to develop into leaders. Finally, we wanted to enhance mainstream perceptions of Sikh-Canadians through meaningful, personal interactions. Lofty goals for a group with lots of initiative but not a lot of social service expertise.
While there have been and continue to be challenges, they are insignificant compared to what we’ve been able to achieve. Here’s some statistics on our impact (to August 31st, 2011):
- More than 530 client families registered
- More than 2,600 client family visits
- Over 175,000 pounds of food distributed
- Almost 4000 volunteer hours worked
- More than 1200 shifts worked by over 100 regular volunteers
Hidden in these stats are the stories of our client families. We are often asked about who it is that we actually serve. Our answer is simple. We serve families just like our own. They are new Canadians, coming from every part of the world, struggling to establish themselves in their new home country. They are young students working to finish their education and struggling to find their first real jobs. They are families where Dad is unable to find full-time work and Mom’s part-time fast food job isn’t enough to pay all the bills. They are seniors on fixed incomes and rising expenses. They are honest, hardworking families, just like our own, going through tough times.
Absolutely none of what we have accomplished would have been possible without the complete support of our community. Our partnership with the Mississauga Food Bank has provided us with the long-term supply of food and invaluable coaching needed to run our operations. Our Board of Directors and Organizing Committee have put in countless hours not just fulfilling their strategic roles but working each and ever client shift. Our volunteers have been tireless in doing whatever is needed to serve our clients. Our friends in the media have been tremendously generous in providing us the coverage needed to reach out to the community. Finally, our donors consistently demonstrated their leadership and belief in our cause through their financial contributions.
As we continue to stabilize our operations, our view is towards the future. Just running a regular traditional food bank was never our goal. We want to attack the root causes of poverty. We want to make a transformational impact in the lives of our clients. As our clients get back on their feet, we would love for them to become volunteers and even donors themselves.
For this we continue to need your financial support. While we have always been a registered not-for-profit organization, we are still in the process of getting our charitable status. Not being able to offer tax-deductible receipts limits our ability to solicit larger donations. So for the time being, we rely on lots of donors giving in smaller sums.
Please consider a donation of $100, $50 or even $20 to the Seva Food Bank. Every dollar you give allows us to continue the fight against hunger in our community. Click here to give.
Thank you for your continued support,
Amarpreet, Amritpal, Birender, Gosha, Gurmeet, Inderpreet, Kulvir, Manpreet, Manraj, Michael and Sundeep (Seva Food Bank Organizing Committee)