Michael was one of our very first first home delivery clients. He is a father of three boys, including one with special medical needs who requires constant attention. Unfortunately, Michael lives with a severe disability in his leg which makes it difficult for him to walk without jolting pain, and requires a mobilized scooter to get around. Earlier this year, vandals pulled the wires out of his scooter which made it nearly impossible for him to go anywhere, including the food bank.See how Seva Food Bank was able to help through the Home Delivery Program.
Seva Client Support Rep: Can you tell us about any health issues or special circumstances that made the home delivery a necessity?
Michael: I have a disability with both of my legs. My right leg doesn’t have a calf muscle and I have circulation problems. I can only walk short distances so I’m not able to get out as much as I’d like to. If I had to go to a food bank I would have to use my scooter or try to take the bus with the scooter. I also have three boys – Bill, Charles and Peter. As a parent I am also supporting my kids through some challenges they are having – like ADHD and Anxiety. I do the best I can for the kids, but if it wasn’t for the food bank I would be in more problems than I am now. Also, Children’s Aid is involved with my family at this time and they expect us to always have the fridge stocked.
I get ODSP every month and all of it goes to pay rent and bills, with nothing left over. If it wasn’t for the food bank delivering to us, we wouldn’t be able to survive. We have to basically have to get by off the generosity of others. It doesn’t make you feel good to have to ask for help. I’ve been on the Peel housing wait list for 11 years and I’m still waiting.
Right now we aren’t having much of a Christmas because I couldn’t get any presents or a tree. But what’s important is making sure your children have what they need.
It’s becoming so hard now that the government has made so many cutbacks that people can’t get by. Every year Ontario Works and ODSP get a small increase, but it doesn’t match the cost of living. It makes me feel like the government doesn’t care about us.
A lot of other food banks require lots of documentation like rent receipts, proof of income, tax assessments, and bills. It makes me feel really bad when they ask for this stuff, like they don’t believe we really need it. Seva Food Bank doesn’t ask for all this stuff. It makes life a little easier the way they work with clients.
Seva Client Support Rep: Can you share with us what does a typical home delivery from Seva Food Bank contain?
Michael: It’s not just canned foods… its meat, bread, fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, yogurt. They provide everything that we need.
Seva Client Support Rep: How frequent is the home delivery from Seva Food Bank?
Michael: Every month, we just call when we need it.
Seva Client Support Rep: How do you use the items in your delivery? Do you cook?
Michael: Yes we cook meals. I do whatever I can to make sure my kids are fed.
Seva Client Support Rep: What role does the delivery play in your day-to-day life? Would you be able to manage without it?
Michael: No I couldn’t manage without it. It’s hard for me to get out and get help.
Seva Client Support Rep: Do you feel like the home delivery is more than just food?
Michael: Yes I do. Without the home delivery we wouldn’t be able to get by like we do. Seva has been really good to us and you don’t know how much we appreciate that. If it wasn’t for your team, we would be in a lot more trouble than we are now. You’ve been there for me during the children’s aid clean up and helping me get a new scooter. These are things we don’t forget.
Seva Client Support Rep: Would you recommend this home delivery program to others who might need help?
Michael: Yes I would. This has been a God-send for helping my family. They should have this in more places. Home delivery makes a big help and it is much more accessible for people. It could help those who have severe disabilities and the elderly. There’s a lot of people who aren’t able to get out like myself, especially in the winter time.