We are a community of Harvest Stars
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/12/2021 (518 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
We survived 2021 thanks to our community of Harvest Stars!
Yup — COVID-19 has been a challenge for a lot of people in our community, and for Harvest. However, the fact Harvest survived because of community is a series of harrowing moments and heartening tales.
FACT: Traditional food donations fell by 300,000 pounds (30 per cent) but producers stepped up.
It takes a province to feed a province. During COVID, the need went up and food donations went down as supply chains were interrupted and those who normally volunteer were in lockdown. We received crucial support from producers and farm families like the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, MB Egg Farmers, Manitoba Chicken and Pork Producers.
FACT: Major grocers in Manitoba support Harvest in a significant way.
One of the most important connections between Harvest and our community is the Tin for the Bin program. In 90 grocery stores across the province, this is an easy way to help nourish hungry kids and families with a spontaneous gift of food (and hope). Amid all the craziness, this program continued. Manitobans generously adopted a buy-one-for-me, bin-one-for-Harvest approach — and that helped maintain food donations levels during a time of great need.
FACT: 83,000 Manitobans, half of whom are children, now rely on Harvest for food.
Due to soaring food prices, the highest in 12 years, and no corresponding wage increase, Harvest had its biggest spike in applications for food support ever this fall — almost 76 per cent higher than the same period last year. Plus, Manitoba still has the highest child poverty rate of any province in Canada.
These are grim milestones, and yet, the fact is that somehow, Manitobans, all experiencing some effects of COVID, went ‘beyond call of duty’ efforts. The Harvest crew, volunteers, donors and partners, worked together to ensure no hungry person was turned away from Harvest.
FACT: Volunteers are returning to the warehouse again.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of Harvest. In our warehouse, they sort and pack almost 11 million pounds of food into Harvest hampers. Volunteer drivers deliver them to food banks and agencies across the province, and those agencies provide hampers to those in need. Simply, at Harvest and in our community, volunteerism is what keeps operations open and food flowing.
Since the pandemic began warehouse volunteer hours dropped by almost 50 per cent below normal capacity but now that Harvest is a fully vaccinated facility, individuals, friends, families, community groups and corporate teams have all begun to return, and we could not be more grateful.
FACT: The future is now.
In the coming year Harvest plans to grow every facet of the operation. However, because Manitoba still has the highest child poverty rate of any province in Canada, one priority given special attention will be feeding hungry kids through expanded food and meal programs, advocacy, and province-wide community involvement.
Manitobans are and always have been a community of Harvest Stars. Harvest is one of the important ways we see ourselves. It reflects our values. And those values motivate our deeds. With a tin, a toonie, or some volunteer time, you bring to life the slogan: “We are a community of Harvest Stars.”
And that’s the best part of looking back at 2021 and ahead to 2022.
Let’s shine for them in this time of great need!
As Harvest gears up for 2022, we are hoping you can contribute to our year-end campaign. Because of you, new hope will rise, smiles will be wider, and the holidays will become a time of greater security and peace for hungry Manitobans.
• Your gift of $35 = 10 meals;
• $150 will feed a family of four next month;
• A one-time gift of $50 will feed a child or at-risk adult for a week, and a monthly gift will feed them for three months.
Every gift makes hungry Manitobans feel better, cared for, less afraid, and more secure.
Donate before Dec. 31 and maximize your 2021 tax receipt. Call 204-982-3581 or online at HarvestManitoba.ca
Thank you for giving and making a difference today!
Harvest Manitoba is a not-for-profit, community based organization. Our goals are to collect and share surplus food with people who are hungry and to offer training opportunities to help people step up and out of poverty. Our ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for food banks in our community. Find out more at www.harvestmanitoba.ca