In medieval times, I read, the time of greatest hunger was the most cruel: it happened in early summer, while the crops were still growing, trees were flowering, but the larders were empty from last year. Peasants could see the future and what was left of the past. The present, though, was bleak.
The shelves at the Weston Area Emergency Support are bare, and they could use your support. I always recommend donating money rather than goods, though I am assured that both are welcomed. Nobody wants hotdogs with no buns, however, and money lets food banks buy what they need, often at a discount over what you might pay.
Aaron D’Andrea wrote an excellent article for InsideToronto on the tiny Weston food bank. It’s well worth a read.
“When I started here, if we had 40 or 50 households, that was a busy morning,” Roberts said. “Now, we can go anywhere up to 80 or 100.”
The food bank, located in the back of the Frontlines building at 1844 Weston Rd. near Lawrence Avenue West, is only open for clients on Tuesdays during the summer (July and August), but its volunteers, mostly from Toronto’s Weston neighbourhood, come in throughout the week to help out.
The VCCU is accepting donations for the food bank, should you feel inclined to help.
The best time to give is after you feel like hell for being such a crass and grasping consumer and before your credit card bill comes due. That should be in about two weeks, if your experience (and postal service) is like mine.
Here, accordingly, are some options for giving during the holiday season:
This Sunday, the Weston Park Baptist Church starts its annual Christmas Food Drive. All the proceeds go to the Weston food bank (WAES) and help more than 330 local families. “One week prior to the drive, 4000 bags will be distributed into the Weston community and then on the day of the drive, more than 100 volunteers will go door-to-door to collect the food, sort it at the church, box it and prepare it”
Me, I like to give money. It’s less trouble, and nobody ends up with peanut butter but no jam. You can donate directly to WAES.
Frontlines is a popular youth after-school drop-in centre. They’d be glad for a little of your dough.
The WKNC does great work, too, I know. They are a drop-in and outreach centre. They’re always busy. A little cash would go far in their hands.
Add your favourite charity in the comments. I’ll link to them.
The Weston food bank is feeling a little pinched, according to InsideToronto.
A spokesperson for the Weston Road and King Street-area community centre, Ken Theobald, says that its charitable food sources, such as Second Harvest and the Daily Bread Food Bank, are under an increased demand and so “the dollars we do have aren’t going as far as they used to.”
At the same time, he added, the number of residents who are reliant on its drop-in breakfast, lunch, and community dinners are steadily increasing from about 65 to 100 people daily.
As an amateur economist, can I encourage you, if you feel so inclined, to give cash instead of cans? Nobody likes hotdogs without buns.
Thanksgiving is the most profound time of the year–both melancholy and joyful, with the end of summer and the bounty of harvest; it is time to reflect on what came before and what is yet to come. Or maybe I’m feeling melancholy because it’s my birthday.
The Farmers’ Market is having a harvest celebration this weekend. There will be face painting, castles, and an unusual fashion show.
To honour the season, our local food bank and the Weston Park Baptist Church will be raising money and starting a food drive. The drive will begin in earnest on December 6, but they would be very glad to accept a donation now.
This weekend is the best weekend of the year. It’s the weekend my family always gets together to celebrate birthdays and Thanksgiving and the changing of the seasons, and even though we are thoroughgoing atheists, we give a little shout-out to the universe for all its many blessings.
(And can I, as a amateur economist, prod you a little to give money? Imagine what it must be like for the WAES to receive two cans of cranberry sauce but no gravy. Or macaroni but no ketchup. If you give cash instead of cans, they can go buy what they need most. Plus it’s super easy. You can do it online.)
You can drop off your donations, or cheques, at the VCCU.