Guest blog by Lynne
“We take a lot of things for granted,” Lynne, long-time donor of the food bank shares. “Basic things like clothes, blankets and especially food.” This is one of the reasons that drew Lynne to the food bank. This is her story.
For the longest time we didn’t have a refrigerator. I would take my toy buggy with me and walk with my mom to the grocery store every day. Food was scarce but I don’t remember going super hungry. We lived by the waterfront and there were always men asking my grandparents if we had work for them. “We share what we have,” was my grandma’s philosophy. She would always invite them in and even when there was no work, she would make them some lunch before they left. Kids were always coming to our house for lunch. Food and community were a big part of our lives. That was a long time ago. But even today food and community are still an important part of my life.
I eventually went on to study home economics and early child education at university. Eventually I started working in the inner city supporting moms with prenatal care and nutrition. There are a lot of families that were financially compromised and we spent a lot of time focusing on the importance of healthy food – where to get it, how to make it economically and what they could use to make healthy meals without spending too much. But it wasn’t only about food. After all, community is a big part of the equation. After my first husband passed away I was a single mom trying to work, take care of my children and make ends meet.
I often would share food with my neighbours who were also struggling, often because life was hard and lonely and sharing food brought us together and brought so much joy.
It’s no surprise that the same focus on sharing what you have, food and community was passed from my grandparents through my family to my children. When our kids were growing up, food and giving was a part of the family culture. We tried to eat dinner together as much as we could and during the holidays we would come together to make Christmas hampers. It was a family tradition. Even now, though my kids are older we still come together, four generations of family and they do it every year.
I started to support the food bank because it simply made sense. There are so many families out there without enough food to eat.
I may not be able to give to all of them directly but I can partner with an organization that is working to do that. You don’t have to be wealthy, you just have to share what you have. I tell my kids that all the time. Because none of us exist on our own.
We are part of something bigger, bigger than just ourselves and giving is a part of that, a part of our lives.
And that is exactly what North York Harvest Food Bank, with the generous support of Lynne and donors just like her are doing. Like the philosophy that Lynne’s grandparents lived by whatever we have we share. Join Lynne and the other amazing NYH supporters to ensure that no family in Toronto goes hungry this fall.
Donate a generous gift of $500 or more and join Lynne in the Harvest Circle – our leadership donors paving the way for a Toronto where no one goes hungry.