November 25, 2016
2016 Christmas Hamper Campaign
Our 2016 Christmas Hamper Campaign is now underway. Each year, FAMSAC provides a Christmas hamper to over 200 families in our community. Each hamper is filled with all of the fixings for a full Christmas dinner (turkey, stuffing, potatoes, veggies, cake and sweet treats) as well as a week’s worth of meals, including fresh foods.
If your family needs a little help this holiday season, please call the number at the right and leave a message on our answering machine requesting a Christmas hamper. One of our volunteers will be in touch with you to confirm the arrangements.
Obviously, this program is a very large and expensive undertaking. That’s why we’re also inviting families and businesses within our community to sponsor a Christmas hamper for their neighbours. A $100 donation covers the cost of one full hamper. You can make a contribution to our Christmas Hamper Campaign by sending a cheque to our mailing address or online via Canada Helps.
November 7, 2016
Exciting Changes at FAMSAC
After a busy few months, we are proud to announce some exciting changes to how FAMSAC operates.
First, as of this week, it is now possible for clients to come to our food cupboard and choose items off the shelves, picking a certain number of items in each category. This means being able to select foods that better suit their needs, like a cereal that their children will eat, a low-sodium option for a person with high blood pressure or more culturally appropriate items. Besides empowering our clients, this will also help to break the social isolation that some of them feel. Finally, it will also help to reduce waste by ensuring that the items distributed are desired.
Clients are still asked to make a request by leaving a message on our answering machine. They will be contacted by one of our volunteers and given an appointment time when they can come to select their items.
This new way of operating also provides new volunteer opportunities, as we need people to greet our clients and help them select their items. If you are available for a few hours on either Tuesday evenings, Thursday mornings or Saturday afternoons, please contact our volunteer coordinator.
In addition, thanks to several generous donations, we are now in a better position to offer more fresh foods to our clients. Two community garden projects provided us with regular fresh food donations over the course of the summer: kale, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and more. The Bells Corners Business Improvement Area kindly agreed to fund the purchase of a commercial refrigerator so that we could store these items. Moreover, we have received several monetary donations which have allowed us to regularly purchase fresh fruit to provide for the school lunches of our clients’ children.
All of this means more options and healthier choices for our clients. We are very grateful to all those who have helped bring about these improvements to how we operate.
October 6, 2016
Open House – October 15
Please join us for our Open House at our new storefront location at Town Hall Plaza, 2006 Robertson Road. On Saturday, October 15 from 1:30 to 4:00 pm, we will be welcoming volunteers, sponsors and members of the community to tour our new space, celebrate the launch of our community refrigerator and hear about all we have planned for the coming months. Don’t miss it!
August 1, 2016
Support FAMSAC at our Biggest Fundraising Event of the Year
Local Food Trucks to Rally Again in Support of Emergency Food Cupboard
On Saturday, August 13, twelve food trucks will bring exciting international flavours to Bells Corners in support of FAMSAC. Hosted by Christ Church Bells Corners and sponsored by Myers Automotive Group, the second annual West End Food Truck Rally will take place in the church’s parking lot (3861 Old Richmond Road) from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
The FAMSAC Food Cupboard supports over 80 families each month, but saw a 30% increase in demand this past June. Growing demand for food assistance and significant operating costs have forced FAMSAC to rethink how we operate and serve our clients. But thanks to the incredible determination of our volunteers and support from the wider community, we are rising to this challenge. In the past three months alone, FAMSAC has established new relationships with local businesses and community garden volunteer groups, who are now growing vegetables for FAMSAC clients. The food cupboard has also purchased new freezers and, thanks to the generosity of the Bells Corners Business Improvement Authority, a commercial-grade refrigerator has been purchased for its new location. We are looking forward to offering fresh produce to our families for the first time ever, in addition to the non-perishable staples that neighbours continue to donate so generously. The rally, we hope, will provide us with the funds to sustain this healthy, new initiative.
This year’s rally features returning food trucks Ad Mare, Angry Dragonz, Big D’s Doghouse, The Merry Dairy, Mr. Churritos, Pizza All’Antica, Plátanos, and Sula Wok, as well as new participants Bytown Bayou, The Grilled Cheeserie, The Mobile Mayflower, and Rico Peru. An expanded Kids’ Zone will offer free games (thanks to the Scouts), activities, a bouncy castle (sponsored by BDO), and face painting by Team Chiarelli throughout the day. All twelve food trucks will donate 12% of their proceeds to FAMSAC. Erin Coffin, Food Truck Rally Coordinator notes, “Their generosity will ensure that FAMSAC can provide local families in need with a variety of healthy food choices in the months ahead. We are so grateful for their support.”
Whether you are craving savoury or sweet delights, the West End Food Truck Rally is the place to be on August 13. Admission is free, though visitors are encouraged to bring a toonie (or more) to contribute to FAMSAC’s refrigerator/freezer fund. Non-perishable items like cereal, oatmeal, granola bars, and kidney beans are also welcome.
December 29, 2015
Happy New Year from FAMSAC
2015 has been quite a year for FAMSAC. For 46 years, we have quietly worked out the basement of St. Martin de Porres Church, and then in March our whole world changed. A spring thaw and a cracked pipe led to a flood, the discovery of mold in the walls, and the temporary loss of our storage space.
However, there is always a silver lining – we asked the community for help to move to our temporary location – a recently vacated tattoo parlour – and everyone came out, making short work of the move. Food donations increased, and folks kindly made donations to help us pay rent for the first time since 1969.
There are so many great people in Bayshore, Bells Corners, Craig Henry, Crystal Beach, Manordale and Trend Village who want to help those in need within their community. We’ve had offer from new volunteers, some of whom are already assisting us and others for whom we are making plans to be able to put them to work in the new year.
Christ Church Bells Corners held the first West End Food Truck Rally – a great success with over $6,000 and over 6,000 food items donated. The Myers Group sponsored, and everyone had a fun and tasty day! WEFTR 2016 will be even better!
For the first time we asked for sponsors for our Christmas hampers. 175 individuals, families, organizations and businesses agreed to support a family in their neighborhood.
Local businesses offered to lend a hand as well. OK Tire took over picking up food donations from Bells Corners grocery stores, Urban Tandoor had a buffet dinner fundraiser in June, Grazie Pizza had a Thanksgiving lunch with proceeds and food donations going to FAMSAC, the Whiprsnapr Brewing Co. dedicated a beer to FAMSAC as a Christmas fundraiser, Giant Tiger collected over $2,500 at Thanksgiving, and FreshCo launched a food donation bin. Many local businesses also contributed to our Christmas silent auction which brought in over $3,000 (and there were some sweet gifts under people’s trees as a result!). The Insurance Bureau of Canada provided a big donation. OCTranspo let us be part of their Christmas “Fill the Bus” Campaign for the first time in 31 years – they say we can come back next year!
Local politicians came out to help and support us. Friends came out. Family came out. Past clients of FAMSAC who could now help, came out. And at the same time, our tireless volunteers, supporters, and local churches – who have always been there – came out.
2016 will still see a lot of change for FAMSAC, but we are up for it, and we are so fortunate that we have a strong, caring, and generous community who is there to help and participate.
Watch this space – it’s going to be a great ride!
With much appreciation,
FAMSAC Food Cupboard